ST. LOUIS — SSM Health Care–St. Louis and Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens will launch a collaboration in January 2014 that will improve access to care and increase care coordination for patients, the companies announced Thursday.
With the collaboration, patients who currently see an SSM Health Care primary-care physician and visit a Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens in the St. Louis region will benefit from enhanced information sharing between the two organizations. With patient consent, Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners will be able to access information — such as allergies and medications — through sharing of an electronic health record going live later in 2014. SSM Health Care physicians will receive their patient’s discharge reports through this information sharing platform, so they are aware of the clinic visit and can provide any necessary follow-up care.
Healthcare Clinics are professional walk-in health centers located in more than 400 Walgreens drug stores across the country. Clinics are open seven days a week, including evenings and weekends, giving patients the option to access a variety of healthcare services at their convenience and without an appointment.
“SSM Health Care believes in building relationships with physicians and other providers that enhance our ability to improve our community’s health,” said Shane Peng, interim president of physician and ambulatory services, SSM Health Care. “Our affiliation with Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens will improve patient access to coordinated, affordable, quality care.”
SSM Health Care also has more than 2,500 staff physicians, including more than 100 primary-care providers, who can manage care over time for people with chronic illnesses. The collaboration will give SSM Health Care physicians another treatment option to offer their patients for non-emergent and after-hours care that maintains coordination of care between providers.
“Given the challenges facing today’s healthcare system, Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens is ideally positioned to provide greater patient access to quality, convenient and affordable care,” said Alan London, chief medical officer, Consumer Solutions Group, Walgreens. “The collaboration with SSM Health Care aims to improve coordination of care for patients throughout the St. Louis community.”
“This innovative collaboration with Walgreens enables SSM Health Care to expand our reach in the communities we serve,” said Gaurov Dayal, president healthcare delivery, finance and integration and EVP of SSM Health Care. “Health care across this country is undergoing significant transformation, and working in partnership with other likeminded organizations such as Walgreens is a critical element to becoming a leading provider of population-based health services.”