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American Hospital Association officially endorses medication adherence solution Walgreens WellTransitions

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The American Hospital Association earlier this week announced its exclusive endorsement of Walgreens WellTransitions, recognizing the program for medication adherence. The coordinated care program aimed at improving medication adherence has demonstrated reductions in hospital readmission rates by helping patients better understand prescription therapies during and after discharge. 

“The Walgreens WellTransitions program will serve as another tool for hospitals seeking to reduce readmissions and support overall community wellness,” stated Anthony Burke, president and CEO of AHA Solutions. “We have endorsed this program for the broad scope of services that are provided through Walgreens extensive network of pharmacies and pharmacy services. Walgreens has consistently demonstrated its long-term commitment to supporting hospitals’ efforts to extend patient care further into their communities.” 

“Through WellTransitions, Walgreens pharmacy staff works closely with the hospital team to improve the transition of patients to their homes by educating and encouraging them to take their medications as prescribed,” said Joel Wright, Walgreens group VP enterprise specialty. “Medication nonadherence is a significant contributor to preventable readmissions, and by providing this level of personalized care, we can play an important role in helping more people get, stay and live well.”

Early results indicate that WellTransitions has been instrumental in helping to reduce patient readmissions. Within the first six months after the program’s implementation at five hospitals, WellTransitions patients had a 9.4% unadjusted rate of 30-day readmission, compared to a 14.3% 30-day readmission rate for patients eligible for but not participating in the program. 

A formal research study is planned to systematically evaluate the program’s effect on hospital readmissions rates.

WellTransitions takes a comprehensive approach to reducing readmission rates by working with patients from the time they are admitted to the hospital through their discharge and return home. The program supports patient recovery through several hospital-to-home transition steps designed to improve wellness and reduce readmission rates while increasing patient satisfaction and lowering overall care costs.

To date, more than 15 hospitals have implemented the WellTransitions program since its inception in 2012. It is currently being rolled out at a growing number of other facilities throughout the United States, including a growing number of the more than 170 hospitals where Walgreens operates an outpatient pharmacy.  

 

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Duane Reade is most-followed retailer on Twitter

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Duane Reade on Wednesday announced that the New York City drug store retailer has become Twitter’s most followed retail chain in the drug, food and mass Arena worldwide. From September 2012 to-date, the regional retailer has organically grown its Twitter following by 6,709%, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing retail accounts on Twitter year over year.   

"This social milestone is all about our customers and represents the ability and focus we have to seamlessly reach them whenever and wherever they are with useful content they crave and now have come to expect via effective two-way communications," stated Calvin Peters, digital communications manager for Duane Reade. "Our goal has been social community building and expanding relevant engagement to enhance our overall customer experience; achieving this while also creating social communication vehicles that can generate tangible ROI results for both corporate and vendor initiatives have proven successful."

Duane Reade’s social media accomplishments have prompted Twitter to produce a comprehensive case study showcasing the retailer’s social media milestones and innovative digital marketing strategies.   

Duane Reade’s social media strategy is powered by what the company refers to as ‘Parallel Persuasion’ — a marketing approach that generates ROI through omnichannel engagement; it’s an equation based on brand advocacy, brand voice, PR integration and conversation relevance. The formula has led to industry recognition with Duane Reade winning the 2013 Silver Hub Prize for Social Shopper Media and Shopper Marketing campaigns.

Duane Reade’s consumer-generated media focused "Get Social" program — marked by a Promoted Tweet engagement rate of more than 4% and generating more than 3 billion digital impressions year over year — has resulted in increased sales and bolstered ROI, including a 28% lift in sales of Duane Reade Legwear through the chain’s #DRLegwear – "Show Us Some Leg" social amplification vendor campaign. Over the same period, the industry experienced a 5% decrease in sales of these products. Post campaign performance numbers for the vendor, Doris International Hosiery Mills, have been equally impressive with sales up 21% year over year as of July 2013.

"We are extremely proud of these achievements as they are reflection of Duane Reade as an iconic New York City retailer, our amazing omnichannel customers and engaged social media community," said Deepika Pandey, VP digital marketing and customer experience for Walgreens. "We’re already focused on attracting our next million followers and increasing our community engagement across all owned platforms to continue having important and relevant conversations with our core customers."

 

 

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Sanofi vaccination campaign targets ‘FLUgitives’

BY Alaric DeArment

SWIFTWATER, Pa. — Sanofi’s vaccines division is targeting people who have not received vaccinations against flu this season in an effort to encourage them to do so.

Sanofi Pasteur announced Thursday the launch of its "The FLUgitives" campaign. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone ages 6 months and older, but according to the CDC, about 20% of the population gets the flu each year, while 226,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications.

"Because flu season can begin as early as October and last through May, the best prevention for those planning to get their annual flu shot is to get it as early as possible in the season, allowing your body time to build up its immunity," Washington-based Sibley Memorial Hospital vice chairman of internal medicine Carlos Picone said in a statement on behalf of the vaccine maker. "There’s no need to be a FLUgitive this year; speak with your healthcare provider about vaccination and your vaccination options, including Fluzone Intradermal vaccine."

Fluzone Intradermal is a product made by Sanofi Pasteur.

The campaign, which includes the #FLUgitives Twitter hashtag, breaks down people who fail to get vaccinated into four archetypes: "The Scaredy Cat," whose anxieties delay getting the vaccine; "The Turbo Mom," whose hectic schedule leaves little time to focus on health; "The Latest and Greatest Guy," who wants the newest version of everything, but has yet to learn about the latest in vaccine-delivery technology; and "The Fitness Fanatic," who puts workouts before everything, including health.

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