DEERFIELD, Ill. — Immunization records will be sent directly from Walgreens and Duane Reade stores to primary care providers over Surescripts' electronic prescribing network, Walgreens said Monday.
Walgreens announced that beginning this month, the use of Surescripts' Clinical Interoperability services to deliver immunization data from its 7,800 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores and 350 Take Care Clinics to patients' primary care providers would improve coordination of care. The company plans to share immunization data with local and state public health agencies and Take Care Clinic patient summaries with primary care providers starting this later this year.
"Currently, Walgreens pharmacists and Take Care Health [System] providers can submit these patient records to physicians by fax or traditional mail," Walgreens SVP health and wellness services and solutions Jeffrey Kang said. "By using Surescripts' network to provide this important information electronically, we can improve the care that patients receive by making it easier for providers to compile more complete medical histories for their patients. We know how difficult it is for patients to remember which immunizations they've had and when. This will help physicians have a more thorough healthcare conversation with their patients."
Walgreens said it had administered more than 5.5 million flu vaccines at stores and clinics in the 2011-2012 flu season. For those who opt-in to the new service, Surescripts will use a standard format to capture immunization details and send the record to primary care providers via fax, mail or electronically, and physicians using a Surescripts-certified electronic health record will have the option of receiving records via the Surescripts Clinical Interoperability Network.
"Pharmacies continue to lead by example in their efforts to connect care and enable healthcare providers to share and access clinical information when and where it is needed," Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis said. "Using their connection to the Surescripts network, Walgreens pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will improve the coordination of care by sharing immunization records and patient summaries with patients' primary care providers."