CAMDEN, N.J. — Lourdes Health System on Monday launched a partnership with Walgreens to improve the care of its patients after they are discharged from the hospital. The partnership is part of a larger collaboration between Walgreens and CHE Trinity Health, Lourdes’ parent organization.
“Medication non-compliance is a major reason for readmission to the hospital, especially for patients with chronic conditions such as heart failure and diabetes,” stated Lourdes Health System president and CEO Alexander Hatala. “Working with patients before they leave the hospital and after they are discharged will help ensure patients obtain, understand and take the medicines that are an important part of their health.”
Lourdes has three initiatives with Walgreens. Some components of the partnership have already commenced while others are in the planning stages. These are:
- Bedside medication delivery: Already implemented at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, a Walgreens pharmacy technician visits each patient to see if he or she would like to get their discharge medications from Walgreens on their day of discharge from the hospital. Patients opt to get their medications one time if they want and then continue using their own pharmacy. The medicines are delivered from a nearby Walgreens pharmacy within one or two hours of discharge. A Walgreens pharmacist is available by phone to answer any questions;
- Walgreens Transitions Program: Currently in the process of being implemented at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, patients can enroll in WTP when they are admitted. The patient receives his or her medication through Walgreens bedside delivery or a Walgreens retail pharmacy. Within 48 hours of discharge, a pharmacist will contact the patient to review medications and answer any questions or concerns. A Walgreens pharmacist will contact the patient two more times within the next 30 days to see how the patient is doing. After 30 days, the patient can switch to his or her usual pharmacy if desired; and
- Walgreens Onsite Pharmacy: By fall 2014, Walgreens will renovate an area just off the first floor lobby at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center for a retail pharmacy. The pharmacy will be convenient for patients and family members to pick up prescribed medication before heading home. The pharmacy also will be open to Lourdes employees and visitors.
“For some patients, there is no pharmacy near their home,” said Hatala. “Being able to fill their initial prescription at the hospital will not only save time, but through education also encourage them to take it as directed. This program helps us to transition patients home with the medications they need from day one.”
Lourdes’ partnership with Walgreens is part of a clinical care collaboration agreement with its parent company, CHE Trinity Health. The organizations have agreed to pursue innovative models of care in select markets—such as those served by Lourdes Health System. The collaborative model aims to improve people’s health while increasing consumers’ access and lowering overall healthcare costs.
“This collaboration is based on our organizations’ mutual commitment to serve people at every intersection of their health and wellness needs,” commented Scott Nordlund, EVP growth, strategy and innovation, CHE Trinity Health. “Transformative ideas for improving care are central to our mission at CHE Trinity Health, so we are pleased to join with Walgreens to introduce new and better strategies for health and wellness throughout our communities.”
“Coordinated care programs are vitally important to help ensure patients have access to the quality, convenient, affordable care they need before, during and after a hospital admission,” added Alan London, Walgreens VP strategic clinical partners. “Working with an integrated health system such as CHE Trinity Health offers an ideal opportunity to further leverage Walgreens health care assets to coordinate patient care across multiple regions of the country. We look forward to working together to help patients in these communities get, stay and live well.”