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Telehealth can further expand retail clinic model

BY Antoinette Alexander

Telehealth is expected to experience a sharp rise in the number of patients, according a new report by health market research firm IHS, which projects that telehealth will reach 1.8 million patients around the world by 2017.

Reports are emerging about primary care physician shortages all the time. And telehealth can help expand the retail clinic model, especially in rural areas where population counts may not justify the cost of multiple full-time nurse practitioner salaries.

Pharmacy operators like Thrifty White – which serves patients in the rural Midwest through its network of 90 stores – have offered remote-site prescription dispensing and telemedicine services for years. Thrifty White is well-experienced in the technology, as it opened its first telepharmacy site in 2003 and currently has eight telepharmacy sites.

As noted above, the reality is that such technology can help further expand the retail clinic model.

"For retail-affiliated clinics, telemedicine can bring real time, face-to-face connections with primary care physicians, medical specialists and hospitals. This will transform the role of retail clinics to become a thousand points of entry to a virtually-integrated system of care and dramatically increase their revenues,” Ronald Hammerle, chairman and president of Health Resources, told Drug Store News. Health Resources helps design and build health systems.

Echoing that sentiment, Peter Hotz, group VP of Walgreens/Take Care Health Systems,told Drug Store News in a late 2012 interview that he believes there’s an opportunity to offer video health within the retail-based clinics to provide patients access to specialists.

In late 2011, Take Care Health Systems partnered with Cisco to operate the LifeConnections Health Center on Cisco’s campus in San Jose, Calif. The worksite facility is connected to Cisco’s campus in North Carolina where employees can interact with a physician at the San Jose campus via high-definition video.

It also is interesting to note that during CVS Caremark’s 2012 Analyst Day in December, Larry Merlo, president and CEO, said “the growth in innovative care delivery models like telemedicine or telepharmacy have the potential to reshape how care is delivered.”

 

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Author, business consultant Jim Collins to keynote 2013 NACDS Total Store Expo

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that author and business consultant Jim Collins will be the keynote speaker for the 2013 NACDS Total Store Expo. The NACDS Total Store Expo will debut Aug. 10 to 13, 2013.

Collins is author or co-author of six books, including the international bestseller Good To Great and New York Times bestseller How The Mighty Fall. Combined, his books have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Collins began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colo., where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors. To date, he has served as a teacher to senior executives and CEOs at more than 100 corporations.

“I can think of no better person than Jim Collins to keynote NACDS’ evolutionary new trade show, the NACDS Total Store Expo,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “The groundbreaking nature of this conference will bring together trading partners across the industry — from pharmacy, consumer goods, supply chain, logistics, technology and more. Jim’s expertise will provide a unique opportunity for this diverse group to gain insights on leadership and how to do better business that cuts across all industry sectors.”

Collins will offer remarks to NACDS Total Store Expo attendees during the opening business program on Sunday, Aug. 11.

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NACDS Foundation sponsors nationwide heart-health initiatives

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — The philanthropic arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is supporting various heart-health programs around the country to support a Department of Health and Human Services campaign.

The NACDS Foundation announced the launch of the NACDS Foundation and Million Hearts "Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs," supporting HHS’ "Team Up, Pressure Down" campaign. Various initiatives will take place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"Given the tremendous impact of the health and well-being of the health fairs’ participants, we are eager to continue our partnership to build healthier hearts and improve lives with the launch of the NACDS Foundation/Million Hearts ‘Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs,’" NACDS Foundation chairman Steven Anderson and president Kathleen Jaeger wrote in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a partner in the Million Hearts initiative.

The pharmacists and pharmacy students who conduct the fairs will report a number of health-related outcomes, including the number of patients who are screened or at risk for a heart condition. The fairs also are designed to refer patients, as necessary, to physicians for evaluation based on results of blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking cessation and immunizations screenings.

In 2012, NACDS Foundation grants made possible 65 health fairs that served 3,500 patients as part of the "Team Up, Pressure Down" public-private partnership, whose goal was to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The foundation provided $35,000 in grants to 15 schools and colleges of pharmacy around the country.

Services last year included aspirin education for 1,923 patients; blood-pressure screening and education for 2,909 patients; cholesterol screening and education for 1,750 patients and smoking-cessation education for 1,292 patients. Of those screened for blood pressure, 24% were referred for follow-up with primary care physicians, while 36% of those screened for cholesterol were referred.


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