PHARMACY

Walgreens Infusion Services saves $850,000 in three-month period

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Home nutrition support team interventions improved patient care and potentially prevented an estimated 429 hospital days over a three-month period, at a cost savings of more than $850,000, according to new data presented by Walgreens Infusion Services at the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Clinical Nutrition Week meeting Monday in Phoenix. 

“Dietitians are experts in nutrition support and play a vital role in home-delivered care,” stated Noreen Luszcz, Walgreens Infusion Services nutrition program director. “Our home nutrition support teams work together to proactively monitor patients’ therapy and provide regular updates to the patient’s physician. We invest in having dietitians as part of our teams because they play a vital role in providing appropriate, safe, cost-effective home nutrition support.”

The study included data from 16 Walgreens Infusion Services offices, with 2,500 enteral nutrition patients (who received their nutrition needs through a feeding tube) and 270 parenteral nutrition patients (who received their nutrition intravenously) on service during the study period. Interventions were performed by the Walgreens Infusion Services home nutrition support team, which includes nurses, pharmacists and dietitians who work closely with physicians to provide care to PN and EN patients. 

This patient-centric multidisciplinary approach to care enabled the teams to quickly identify therapy complications and intervene to address them with the guidance of the physicians, Walgreens noted. There were 373 total interventions completed during the three-month study, including correcting over/underfeeding, preventing dehydration, reducing/eliminating diarrhea, managing hyperglycemia, managing electrolyte imbalances, transitioning patients from PN to oral eating, and starting patients on PN therapy in the home instead of in the hospital.

Patients are typically prescribed PN or EN because they cannot absorb an adequate amount of nutrients due to a health condition like cancer, a stroke or surgical complications. While both therapies can be administered in the hospital, about 40,000 PN patients and 344,000 EN patients each year receive their nutrition therapy at home, where they are more comfortable and can avoid the risk of exposure to hospital-acquired infections.


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PHARMACY

Fast Company places Walgreens on its ‘Top 10’ list of most innovative healthcare companies

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Progressive business media brand Fast Company on Monday named Walgreens as one of its top 10 healthcare companies for 2013 "for redefining the role of the pharmacy."

Fast Co. pointed to Walgreens’ omnichannel presence as one key differentiator. "The company bet on a more refined approach to patient care, which yielded new mobile app features that help patients manage their medications, such as Pill Reminder, and a web tool called Find Your Pharmacist, which lists local pharmacists by their expertise," noted the Fast Company editorial team. "Those efforts, combined with partnerships with the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services to expand in-store HIV testing, created a new standard for the patient-pharmacy relationship."

Check out the coverage here. 


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FDA approves multiple myeloma drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug made by Celgene for treating the cancer multiple myeloma, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Pomalyst (pomalidomide) for patients whose disease has progressed after treatment with other cancer drugs.

Multiple myeloma is a form of blood cancer that mostly affects older people and comes from plasma cells in the bone marrow. About 21,700 Americans are diagnosed with it, and 10,710 die every year from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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