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MinuteClinic, Atlantic Health System form clinical affiliation

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and MORRISTOWN, N.J. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has formed a clinical affiliation with Atlantic Health System, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in New Jersey — comprised of Morristown Medical Center, Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., and Newton Medical Center — to enhance access to healthcare services in northern and central New Jersey.

The agreement includes nine MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Union counties and parts of Essex county.

Under the agreement, Atlantic Health System physicians will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in Northern and Central New Jersey. In addition, MinuteClinic and Atlantic Health System will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offers. Atlantic Health System will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with Atlantic Health System.

"Our affiliation with Atlantic Health System will help MinuteClinic make the best use of our clinics in Northern and Central New Jersey to offer better access to high quality health care services and to lower costs for patients and employers," said Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer for CVS Caremark. "We look forward to having Atlantic Health System’s physicians collaborate with our practitioners to provide quality oversight, teaching and back-up so we can provide the best care at the lowest overall cost."

MinuteClinic and Atlantic Health System will begin to work toward fully integrating electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual’s care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other Atlantic Health System locations in Northern and Central New Jersey. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours.


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Great cause supported by next step in communication

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative certainly is a noble cause, but more than that, this is a prime example of Walgreens’ active pursuit of an experience with its audience through the mediums that that audience chooses — in this case, Twitter. It represents a new paradigm in marketing as drug retailers and others swap a consumer reach and brand identity proposition for one of engagement and presence.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens hosts live Twitter chat around its new REDI program. For the full story, click here)

That doesn’t mean reach or identity have become passé, necessarily. There’s still a need to advertise to the masses and establish that traffic-driving raison d’être. But it does mean that’s no longer good enough. Today’s marketer needs to establish a humanized presence beyond the store clerk or cashier — a humanized presence that actively engages consumers one-on-one across each of the social media platforms.

That becomes most apparent across initiatives like Walgreens’ REDI, which is a cause around which people get extremely passionate. It’s a passion that extends well beyond those persons with disabilities, the benefactors of an initiative like this, and includes the advocates and family members for that under-employed, under-appreciated group of workers.

So it can’t hurt that that universe of passionate advocates now can identify with @WAG_Deb, the Twitter account for Deb Russell, who serves as Walgreens’ manager of outreach and employee services. Now those advocates can identify someone at Walgreens who shares their passion.

It’s not just happening with Walgreens. It’s not even just happening at retail. Establishing that engagement and presence is becoming more and more a quintessential aspect as to how a reader engages a news organization, in our case Drug Store News (or DSN in Twitter-ized shorthand).

If you don’t already, follow DSN on Twitter (@DrugStoreNews) and make sure you get the most important news in our industry as it happens. And if you don’t tweet, that’s OK, because like Walgreens, DSN also is on Facebook where we cater more to consumers with new product news and LinkedIn where we keep executives abreast to the latest news and dealings in the retail pharmacy space.

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Huggies, Armed Services YMCA donate diapers to U.S. military families

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Huggies has donated 5 million of its Huggies Little Movers camo diapers to families of those who serve to protect our country, reaching every branch of the U.S. military.

To support the donation, the Huggies brand is partnering with the Armed Services YMCA, a military nonprofit organization that makes military life easier with free programs and services to enlisted military and their families nationwide.

Diapers will be distributed on behalf of the National Diaper Bank Network, a nonprofit organization in which Huggies Every Little Bottom is the founding sponsor. Through this program, Huggies Every Little Bottom and the NDBN will work closely with military organizations from coast-to-coast to help get diapers in the hands of military families.

"Our nonprofit organization serves many of the largest military bases in the country, like the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Airforce," Armed Services YMCA CEO Mike Landers said. "We are excited to be partnering with the Huggies brand and are extremely grateful for the millions of diapers they are donating to help young enlisted troops and their families."

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