Driving prevention with screenings
A lot of retailers offer screenings for everything from diabetes to allergies, but what sets Sam’s Club apart is the scale on which it delivers them. The club retailer offers screenings for everything from heart health and women’s health to diabetes. In a recent interview with Drug Store News, director of business development for health and wellness Angie Muldoon said that the company had conducted more than 1 million screenings in 2011.
“It’s everything from glucose to blood pressure to cholesterol, and then with that information, [members] can make the right decisions for their own health,” Muldoon said. “Our screening events are available not only to our members, but to the general public. We do that because we think it’s important to drive awareness of their own individual health, whether they’re a member or not, and then also to drive awareness of our OTC, pharmacy and [health and beauty aid] areas.”
Targeting diabetes with loyalty cards
One of the highlights for Rite Aid’s business has been Wellness+, its loyalty card program that has played a major role in driving growth in the company’s comps, as well as attracting new and more loyal customers.
In September, the company launched the first major expansion of the program, Wellness+ for Diabetes. Designed to address an epidemic affecting more than 26 million Americans, Wellness+ for Diabetes offers resources and savings for people living with the diabetes. A partnership with WebMD allows customers to have exclusive online access to a special Rite Aid-sponsored section of the website’s “Diabetes Head2toe” online lifestyle management tools, including a personal diabetes work plan that features a daily glucose tracker and weekly workout log. Customers enrolled in the program also will have access to special Wellness+ rewards.
Finding new benefits to e-prescribing
Electronic prescribing has long been touted as a way to reduce medication errors and healthcare costs, but one retail pharmacy chain has found another use for it.
Walgreens announced in March that it would send immunization records directly from Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, as well as Take Care Clinics, to primary care providers over Surescripts’ electronic prescribing network using the network’s Clinical Interoperability services. In addition, later this year, it will start sharing immunization data with local and state public health agencies and Take Care Clinic patient summaries with primary care providers.
The announcement represents not just the potential offered by e-prescribing, but also the benefits of having retail pharmacies offer immunizations. Now patients can get their vaccinations at the pharmacy or retail clinic and ensure that their providers know about it. This will become especially important as the variety of vaccinations that pharmacists can administer increases.