HEALTH

Gallup study shows clinics know how to ‘Take Care’

BY DSN STAFF

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. —Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, built its retail-based clinics around a patient-centric model, and the success of that model is evident in the results of recent Gallup research.

The research on customers and customer engagement found that Take Care Clinics ranked among the top 10% of all organizations that Gallup measures globally in engaging their patients and customers. The research is based on a measure of customer engagement Gallup has developed that quantifies the strength and nature of a customer’s connection to a company. Gallup’s metric assesses the emotional bonds of confidence, integrity, pride and passion that reflect a company’s customer relationships. Gallup has found that without a strong emotional bond, satisfaction is meaningless.

The data found:

Take Care Clinics received the highest satisfaction ratings from more than 9-out-of-every-10 patients, compared with the typical company in Gallup’s database that receives the highest satisfaction from just 1-in-every-3 customers;

More than 9-out-of-every-10 patients strongly felt that the nurse practitioner or physician assistant spent enough time with them, and a similar number strongly felt that the nurse practitioner or physician assistant carefully listened to them and explained things in a way that was easy to understand; and

Take Care Clinics strongly engaged more than 3-outof-every-4 patients. The typical company in Gallup’s database strongly engages less than 1-in-5 customers.

The results of the study are important for several reasons. In today’s consumer-driven healthcare environment, simply satisfying a patient is not enough. Patients want to feel a personal connection; they want to be engaged. Furthermore, the role of retail-based clinics will become increasingly important since healthcare reform means that about 30 million people who currently are uninsured will have health-care coverage, and this comes against the backdrop of a physician shortage and overflowing emergency rooms.

The opinions of more than 50,000 Take Care Clinic patient respondents have been captured to date via on-site kiosks at more than 350 clinic locations. Gallup validated these results through a nationwide, random outbound phone study. Results of that study indicated that the on-site kiosk data provided an accurate portrait of Take Care Clinics’ patient-engagement performance.

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The Apothecary Shops earns spot on Inc.’s fastest-growing private companies list

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy isn’t the only one to earn a spot on Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies.

The Inc. 5000 also listed specialty pharmacy The Apothecary Shops, ranking 2,394. That marked a jump of 322 spots from last year and 1,682 spots from 2008 in its fourth annual appearance on the list.

Drug Store News reported Thursday on Diplomat’s inclusion on the list.

“It’s no secret that we have undertaken a very aggressive growth strategy for The Apothecary Shops, but our approach, particularly in a down economy, has been targeted and strategic to be in a solid position to leverage that growth when the economy turns,” The Apothecary Shops president Keith Cook said. “Our movement on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies reflects the success of our strategic direction.”

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Type 2 diabetes linked with cognitive impairments, study shows

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON A small study conducted by Canadian researchers found factors that may link Type 2 diabetes with such cognitive impairments as dementia.

Older adults with diabetes who also have high blood pressure, walk slowly or lose their balance, or believe they’re in bad health, are more likely to have poorer cognitive functions than those without these problems, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada and published in the September issue of Neuropsychology

The study of older Canadians — 41 adults with Type 2 diabetes, ages 55 to 81 years, and 458 matched healthy controls (ages 53 to 90 years) — found that systolic blood pressure, a low combination score for gait and balance, and a patient’s own reports of poor health all played a statistically significant role in the relationship between diabetes and cognitive impairment.

“Awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease, and to motivate them to do so,” said co-author Roger Dixon, PhD, of the University of Alberta.

Type 2 diabetes has been found by other researchers to nearly double the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, said Dixon, who studies how health affects cognition in aging. As diabetes becomes more common, this heightened risk could dramatically hike the number of older people with dementia.

The prevalence of diabetes in the United States for people older than age 60 — according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases — is more than 23%, while Canadian prevalence is nearly 19%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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