In an attempt to ease qualms about the legitimacy of healthcare provided at walk-in clinics, CVS has decided to share the medical information of patients who use their walk-in clinics with the University of Chicago. The retail giant provides clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring, and wellness programs at the medical clinics associated with their pharmacies.
The walk-in health clinics run by CVS are called MinuteClinic. These institutions act as an urgent care for patients looking for medical attention when it’s unavailable from their primary doctor.
According to pharmacytimes.com, a press release outlined CVS’s affiliation with the University of Chicago as an attempt to “enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients.” CVS will be providing prescription and visit information to the university through their electronic health record systems.
This decision comes at the tail-end of Walgreens announcement of the sale of their Chicago-area walk-in clinics to Downers Grove-based Advocate Health Care. According to the Chicago Tribune, this decision was made in a continued attempt to improve operations among their health clinics.
While the specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, all 56 locations of Walgreens’ in-store clinics have been sold to Advocate.
By continuing to outsource clinical operations, Walgreens hopes to continue to provide access to healthcare for patients who wish to avoid the emergency room. Considering only 29% of primary care physicians offer evening hours, many patients go to walk-in clinics because they can’t be seen by their primary physician.
The new pharmacy programs also aim to unify the country’s healthcare services.
“We are pleased to work with these exceptional health care providers throughout the country to develop collaborative programs that enhance access to patient care, improve health outcomes and lower health care costs in the communities they serve,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “By allowing our electronic health records and information systems to communicate and share important information about the patients we collectively serve, we will have a more comprehensive view of our patients, which can aid in health care decision making and help ensure patients adhere to important medications for chronic diseases.”
With a comprehensive view of patients and their medical history, physicians hope to create a more effective medical care system.