Walgreens partners with Google Health for healthcare records access

DEERFIELD, Ill. A major pharmacy chain and a major Internet portal are collaborating to allow patients to view their prescription histories online.

Walgreens will provide patients access to their prescription histories through Google Health, a service that the Internet search engine launched Monday that gives patients online access to personal medical information.

Walgreens, which already allows patients to store their pharmacy information on its Web site, hopes the new service will allow patients to better provide multiple healthcare professionals with medical information by securely linking their information on Walgreens.com with Google Health.

Microsoft launched a similar service, HealthVault, last year.

Walgreens has a long history of pharmacy technology innovation. In the early 1980s, the company was the first retail pharmacy chain to computerize all of its pharmacies nationwide and link them via satellite. In 1992, Walgreens invented the electronic prescription, which is seen today as one of the leading ways to enhance pharmacy safety and lower prescription costs. More recently, Walgreens was the first pharmacy to fully integrate its online pharmacy with its retail pharmacies and was the first to offer prescription label directions in 14 different languages.

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