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The announcement that MinuteClinic and Cleveland Clinic have entered a clinical collaboration is a major example of how providers are communicating electronically to advance patient care, aside from e-prescribing.
While most of the retail-based clinic operators, such as MinuteClinic and Take Care Health Systems, have long used electronic health records to share patient information and ensure continuity of care, this streamlining of systems takes that communication yet one step higher.
In fact, it should be noted that, under Convenient Care Association's ten Quality and Safety Standards established in 2007, CCA members must use electronic health records to ensure efficient care, and CCA members must be committed to providing all patients with the opportunity to share health information with other providers electronically or in paper format.
However, this collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and MinuteClinic should not be understated. By having their systems streamlined, each Cleveland Clinic-affiliated MinuteClinic will have access (with the patient's consent, of course) to patient's medical history, prescriptions, treatments and health maintenance information. This will obviously be a major advantage for nurse practitioners working within these MinuteClinic locations. And MinuteClinic will be able to share, with consent, its patient information with other Cleveland Clinic-affiliated locations in the northeast Ohio via the MinuteClinic EMR.