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Take Care Clinics launches mobile appointment-setting app with iTriage

BY Antoinette Alexander

DENVER, Colo. —Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has launched a pilot program offering patients mobile and online appointment-scheduling services through consumer healthcare application iTriage.

The scheduling functionality now is available in both the Chicago and Denver markets.

“Today’s consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access health care information and services, wherever they are and whenever they need it,” said Heather Helle, divisional VP for Walgreens Consumer Solutions Group. “Integrating with the mobile and online appointment-setting technology of iTriage allows us to provide our patients with another tool to help them better manage their personal health care.”

When patients schedule an appointment at select Take Care Clinics using the free iTriage mobile app or website, they receive an immediate response to their request, increasing efficiency and streamlining the appointment process. iTriage also lets users identify symptoms, learn more about medical conditions and access a nationwide directory of medical providers.


“Consumers expect more control and convenience when accessing health care information and services, and iTriage is empowering patients to make more informed decisions,” iTriage co-founder and CEO Peter Hudson said. “As an early innovator in the adoption of the retail clinic model and of mobile appointment setting, Take Care Clinics clearly recognize this dynamic market shift, and the value this service can offer its patients. We are hopeful that as the benefits of the iTriage app are demonstrated, that we can further expand the reach of this program.”



iTriage is available as a free download from app stores for iPhone and Android devices, and is accessible from any Internet-enabled device at iTriageHealth.com.


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NCPA, GNP name finalists for annual Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Teams of pharmacy students from three universities have been named finalists in the Good Neighbor Pharmacy National Community Pharmacists Association’s Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, NCPA announced Tuesday.

"We are excited and proud to see the growth in the quantity and quality of the business plans each year," NCPA president Lonny Wilson said. "These plans are from some of the best and brightest of today’s pharmacy students and I can’t wait to see the live competition at the NCPA Annual Convention."

The 2012 competition drew entries from a record number of 40 schools and colleges of pharmacy. The finalists are from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.

The Business Plan Competition is named to honor two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt Sr. and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or developing a new pharmacy. Through this competition, NCPA is better able to prepare tomorrow’s pharmacy entrepreneurs for a successful future. The competition is supported by GNP, Pharmacists Mutual Companies and the NCPA Foundation.

"We continue to sponsor the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition as it is such a meaningful way to promote independent community pharmacy ownership," said Steve Collis, president and CEO of AmerisourceBergen, whose Good Neighbor Pharmacy program is the primary sponsor of the competition. "The students outperform year after year, showing the confidence and business knowledge to become successful pharmacy owners and an important resource in the care of their patients’ health."

Team members and the advisor for the three finalist teams will receive complimentary registration, travel and lodging to NCPA’s 114th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in San Diego, which will be held from Oct. 13 to 17, where they will compete in a live competition. The remaining teams in the top ten, in alphabetical order, include Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy; University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy; University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy; University of Southern California School of Pharmacy and the University of Washington School of Pharmacy.


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Survey unveils adults’ attachment to social networks

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — According to a survey commissioned by MyLife, 40% of consumers are so hooked to their social media outlets that they’d rather undertake unpleasant or even painful activities before they’d give up tweeting or updating their Facebook status.

As many as 62% of adults who currently are a member of more than one social networking site said they keep an eye on their social networks because they don’t want to miss something (e.g., news or an important event or status update). And as many as 38% of social media users between the ages of 18 and 34 years, who have multiple profiles, log onto those social networking profiles after they wake up before they check email.

“Consumers are bombarded with so much information online — from status updates and photos to tweets and check-ins — that our anxiety around missing out has shifted to our digital lives,” MyLife CEO Jeff Tinsley said. “The fact that many people would rather run a marathon or spend a night in jail than give up their Facebook or Twitter account is proof positive.”

While Facebook is widely known to be the most popular social network worldwide, the site actually doesn’t top social media users’ lists when it comes to being the primary social profile they turn to for consuming or sharing content, or even a mix of both, MyLife reported. LinkedIn is tops for consumption (i.e., to observe without actively posting anything), as 68% of online adults who are a member of LinkedIn said they use the site mainly to consume content. YouTube (57%) and Twitter (53%) were next in line when it came to sites where users tend to primarily view content without sharing.

Pinterest (48%) narrowly edged out Facebook (46%) as the site where users are most likely to equally consume and share content. “Surprisingly enough, while everyone knows different social networks serve different purposes, the way people are using sites to consume or share content doesn’t fall in line with what we might expect,” Tinsley said. “Facebook was passed by Foursquare as the primary place people share content and newcomer Pinterest edged out the social media giant when it came to the site where users equally share in both activities.”

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