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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems, which operates more than 350 clinics inside select Walgreens locations across the country, has announced that patients now can schedule appointments online or in the clinic.
These new scheduling options further Walgreens commitment to improving patient access to quality healthcare services and increasing transparency in health care. In addition to scheduling Take Care Clinic appointments online, TakeCareHealth.com offers access to a cost menu to quickly evaluate the cost of services, as well as local and up-to-date information on patient satisfaction scores and market-specific quality of care scores based on National Center for Quality Assurance Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set guidelines. HEDIS guidelines are used by more than 90% of America's health plans to measure performance on healthcare delivery. For patients planning a walk-in visit to a Take Care Clinic, TakeCareHealth.com offers access to estimated wait times at each clinic.
“Our goal is always to leverage leading technology and practices to help our patients receive the care they need, on their terms, and the ability to offer appointments will help us do just that,” stated Heather Helle, divisional VP for Walgreens consumer solutions group. “Now patients or health systems partners can easily evaluate which clinic location makes the most sense for a visit at a convenient time, and we believe this will ultimately help create the simpler and easier healthcare experience that is being sought by patients and their healthcare providers.”
A recent study released by the Rand Corp. showed that the use of walk-in retail clinics to treat common illness, such as respiratory infections, ear aches, sore throats, flu symptoms and other acute conditions is on the rise — having increased 10-fold in the past two years. The study also found that patients who visited clinics could reduce healthcare costs for themselves and the overall system, as care provided at the clinics is on average 30% to 40% less expensive than a physician’s office for similar services and 80% less expensive than care provided at a hospital emergency room.
“The suite of online tools, affordable service and convenience that Take Care Clinics offer is unique in the marketplace,” stated Sandy Ryan and chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “We believe that as we continue to explore new and exciting ways to reach our patients, such as relationships with health systems, our unique offerings can further drive value for our patients and our coordinated care partners.”