WOONSOCKET, R.I., and COLUMBUS, Ohio — MinuteClinic has entered a clinical affiliation with OhioHealth, a not-for-profit, charitable healthcare organization based in Columbus. MinuteClinic has seven walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores throughout the region.
"Through its many hospitals and neighborhood health centers, OhioHealth has a strong primary care presence in the Columbus area and an outstanding record for clinical quality," said Andrew Sussman, MinuteClinic president and SVP/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. "As we have experienced elsewhere in Ohio and in other communities in the [United States], strategic clinical affiliations between MinuteClinic and major health systems — such as OhioHealth — enhance our ability to extend high-quality medical services to patients in convenient retail locations near where they live and work."
Under the agreement, physicians affiliated with OhioHealth will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in central Ohio. In addition, MinuteClinic and OhioHealth will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services provided by each organization. OhioHealth will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic.
MinuteClinic and OhioHealth also will begin integrating their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual's care.
"We view this as an extension of the continuum of care we offer in our hospitals, urgent care centers, primary care offices, emergency departments and more than 20 community-based outpatient centers," said Bob Gilbert, senior operations officer at OhioHealth Neighborhood Care. "This affiliation enables OhioHealth to increase the community's access to our high-quality care and trusted team of medical professionals — providing another way to connect patients to our services."
With patient consent, MinuteClinic will share medical history and visit summaries with other OhioHealth and MinuteClinic locations in the region. In the meantime, MinuteClinic stated that it will continue its standard practice of sending visit summaries via fax or mail to the patient's primary care physician, typically within 24 hours. This reporting is not always possible, however, as not all MinuteClinic patients have a primary care physician.
"More than 50% of patients seen at MinuteClinic locations in Columbus do not have an established primary care relationship," OhioHealth SVP and chief medical officer Bruce Vanderhoff said. "Together, OhioHealth and MinuteClinic are committed to helping these patients re-engage with traditional primary care physicians."