PHARMACY

MinuteClinic, OhioHealth enter strategic clinical affiliation

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and COLUMBUS, Ohio — MinuteClinic has entered a clinical affiliation with OhioHealth, a not-for-profit, charitable healthcare organization based in Columbus. MinuteClinic has seven walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores throughout the region.

"Through its many hospitals and neighborhood health centers, OhioHealth has a strong primary care presence in the Columbus area and an outstanding record for clinical quality," said Andrew Sussman, MinuteClinic president and SVP/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. "As we have experienced elsewhere in Ohio and in other communities in the [United States], strategic clinical affiliations between MinuteClinic and major health systems — such as OhioHealth — enhance our ability to extend high-quality medical services to patients in convenient retail locations near where they live and work."

Under the agreement, physicians affiliated with OhioHealth will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in central Ohio. In addition, MinuteClinic and OhioHealth will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services provided by each organization. OhioHealth will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic.

MinuteClinic and OhioHealth also will begin integrating their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual’s care.

"We view this as an extension of the continuum of care we offer in our hospitals, urgent care centers, primary care offices, emergency departments and more than 20 community-based outpatient centers," said Bob Gilbert, senior operations officer at OhioHealth Neighborhood Care. "This affiliation enables OhioHealth to increase the community’s access to our high-quality care and trusted team of medical professionals — providing another way to connect patients to our services."

With patient consent, MinuteClinic will share medical history and visit summaries with other OhioHealth and MinuteClinic locations in the region. In the meantime, MinuteClinic stated that it will continue its standard practice of sending visit summaries via fax or mail to the patient’s primary care physician, typically within 24 hours. This reporting is not always possible, however, as not all MinuteClinic patients have a primary care physician.

"More than 50% of patients seen at MinuteClinic locations in Columbus do not have an established primary care relationship," OhioHealth SVP and chief medical officer Bruce Vanderhoff said. "Together, OhioHealth and MinuteClinic are committed to helping these patients re-engage with traditional primary care physicians."

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PHARMACY

Health 2.0, Walgreens announce health guide challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Health 2.0 and Walgreens on Thursday announced the launch of the Walgreens 2011 Challenge: A New Approach to Patient Information Navigation, which invites teams of developers to create an application that presents aggregated U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data on specific health topics.

The challenge is being sponsored by Walgreens, as part of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge, as a way to supply both Walgreens healthcare staff and patients with a tool for searching and learning about health-related topics, the companies stated.

Submissions are due Aug. 15 and must utilize the iPad or another tablet platform. Submissions also must include a supported Web service and use at least three or more HHS data stores, including — but not limited to — Health Information Updates, Hospital Compare, Elder Care Locator and Blue Button.

The first-place winner will receive $25,000, an opportunity to spend an hour with Walgreens chief information officer Tim Theriault and two free passes to the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco from Sept. 25 to 27, where the winner will present during a session focused on the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge. Second prize will receive $5,000 and third prize will receive $3,000.

Learn more details about this specific challenge here.

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PHARMACY

Cardinal Health announces new scholarship program to benefit pharmacy schools

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Friday announced a new pharmacy college scholarship program, making $1.1 million in scholarship funds available to 13 pharmacy schools. Recipient schools will be endowed with scholarship funding ranging from $50,000 to $125,000.

Five-of-the-13 pharmacy schools that received funding were selected because of their commitment to advancing the independent pharmacy profession. These schools offer curricula focused on operating an independent pharmacy, support student-run chapters of the National Community Pharmacists Association, endorse internship and co-op programs with local independent retail pharmacies, and demonstrate high post-graduate placement rates in community pharmacy settings.

Several of the selected pharmacy schools were chosen because of their strong nuclear pharmacy programs, while others were picked because of their strong hospital pharmacy programs.

“Cardinal Health serves more than 7,000 community pharmacists across the country, and we’re one of the nation’s largest employers of nuclear and hospital pharmacists,” stated Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health’s pharmaceutical segment. “We passionately believe in the essential role pharmacists play in making sure patients receive safe, high-quality health care. That’s why we’re proud to partner with some of our nation’s best universities to invest in developing tomorrow’s pharmacy leaders.”

Schools receiving scholarship funding in Cardinal Health’s Pharmacy Scholarship Program include:

  • East Tennessee State University’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy (Johnson City, Tenn.);

  • Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Brooklyn, N.Y.);

  • Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy (Ada, Ohio);

  • Ohio State University College of Pharmacy (Columbus, Ohio);

  • Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences (Philadelphia);

  • Purdue University College of Pharmacy (West Lafayette, Ind.);

  • University of Arizona College of Pharmacy (Tucson, Ariz.);

  • University of Florida College of Pharmacy (Gainesville, Fla.);

  • University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy (Oxford, Miss.);

  • University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (Albuquerque, N.M.);

  • University of Tennessee at Memphis (Memphis, Tenn.);

  • University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy (Austin, Texas); and

  • Washington State University College of Pharmacy (Pullman, Wash.).

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