PHARMACY

DSN Women Leaders 2014: Jan Reed, Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

Jan Reed, Walgreens corporate VP and general counsel currently is working on the completion of the second step of the Walgreens/Alliance Boots merger, which will fully combine the two companies. Reed brings experience across a number of industries, including service, health care and manufacturing, to her role at Walgreens. 

Reed also brings to the table “good old fashioned common sense,” she told DSN. “What is practical, what is the best solution for the business that simply makes sense and stays within the confines of the law and what can be effectively implemented?”

 The possibilities that can be realized behind merging the two cultures is what gets her excited about the business, she said. “[It’s] the limitless possibilities stemming from a newly global business seeking to expand even further [and] the combination of two cultures that will hopefully cross pollinate ideas and successes.”

Coming up through her career, Reed’s most important mentor was Bob Korzenski, the CEO of Solo Cup Co., where she served as general counsel and EVP of human resources for nearly eight years. “I witnessed firsthand how he handled the seemingly never-ending series of crises that he faced during his tenure, … and learned how to maintain calm and order in the midst of a storm, how to motivate colleagues and employees throughout the ups and downs, and how to lead with grace and respect.”

When Reed is not working on the ins and outs of the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots, she serves on the board of directors for two organizations focused on giving back — Meals on Wheels Chicago and Umoja Student Development Corporation. 

To view the full DSN Women Leaders 2014 report, click here.

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PHARMACY

U.K.’s Lloyds Pharmacy partners with university, hospital on counseling for discharge patients

BY Michael Johnsen

LIVERPOOL, England — LloydsPharmacy locations here will be counseling patients coming out of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University hospitals in an effort to improve outcomes as part of the first research collaboration in the United Kingdom between a hospital, university and community pharmacist, Liverpool John Moores University announced Monday.
 
The pilot aims to improve the way patients use their medicines outside of the hospital and will be carried out in the newly opened Centre for Pharmacy Innovation at the LJMU School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.
 
"Many patients find it difficult to manage their medication when they are discharged from hospital and this often leads to their health deteriorating and they end of having to come back into hospital," stated Alison Ewing, clinical director of pharmacy at the Trust and chair in pharmacy innovation at LJMU’s Faculty of Science. "The [National Health Service] aims to make greater use of community pharmacies to support patients outside hospitals. Our research aims to find ways in which hospital and community pharmacies can work together so that patients can benefit from greater support in managing their medication better."
 
"With pressure on the NHS continuing to rise and patient safety being more important than ever, there is an opportunity for pharmacy to alleviate this pressure by providing hospitals with an approved clinical pathway," added Andrew Willetts, healthcare solutions director leading the project on behalf of LloydsPharmacy. "It is exciting that through this research, we have the opportunity to improve the continuity of care after hospital discharge and change the face and quality of health care forever." 
 
"There have been numerous attempts to improve aspects of the discharge process for medicines in the United Kingdom," noted Charles Morecroft, professor of pharmacy education and professional practice at LJMU’s Faculty of Science. "However these have not made any sustainable difference to patient safety or quality of care. We are delighted to conduct this pioneering research with LloydsPharmacy and the Royal."
 
Research will initially focus on identifying improvements in how patients’ medicines are managed and prescribed when they are admitted to hospital and when they are discharged home and must continue taking medicine. The research aims to find a new process that provides safe and effective management of medicines for patients from the hospital to the community with an enhanced role for community pharmacies. The new model will be piloted at the Royal and evaluated with the aim of providing a new way of working for hospitals and pharmacies across the United Kingdom.
 
The project also will support the development of a post-graduate education and training programme to better equip community pharmacy teams with the skills to advise patients about their health, from minor ailments to diabetes and asthma control, providing a resource for the wider NHS community and pharmacy profession.

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PHARMACY

New SocioNeeds Index identifies populations prone to poor health outcomes by zip code

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — The Healthy Communities Institute on Thursday introduced the SocioNeeds Index, which identifies those living in the highest risk zip codes that can benefit most from supportive health and social programs.
 
"[The SocioNeeds Index is] another innovative way we're enabling health improvement initiatives to prioritize [health provider] efforts through easy-to-use data visualization tools," stated Deryk Van Brunt, HCI president, speaking at the Population Health Symposium from VHA and the Jefferson School of Population Health."It is becoming increasingly clear that ‘micro community health intelligence’, offered through tools like this, is critical for identifying adverse underlying neighborhood factors and developing strategies to improve care and outcomes for at-risk populations. The Index identifies zip codes in the region you care about, which statistically will have the highest rates of premature death and preventable hospitalizations and are worthy of focus."
 
The HCI SocioNeeds Index combines a set of socioeconomic factors — ranging from poverty to education — for all zip codes in the United States. The determinants were standardized, averaged and weighted to arrive at one composite index value. The Index formula maximizes the correlation to poor health outcomes, based on premature deaths and preventable hospitalizations.
 
"Organizations can use the SocioNeeds Index to set a perimeter around their geographic service area at the zip code level, then rank order the zip codes on a scale of 1 to 5 to identify the most vulnerable populations," said Leslie Safier, director of research for HCI. "Access has never been this easy and comprehensive for analyzing, at a very localized level, social determinants of health to guide strategic planning processes." 
 
“The Index will be critical to our efforts to use socioeconomic data to map vulnerable communities,” noted Ian Grant, rural health program manager at the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization. “As we build coalitions, design initiatives, and apply for grants we are leveraging the entire suite of HCI data resources to do focused population health improvement and community engagement.”

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