Walgreens Take Care Clinics Offering Online Scheduling Option
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Take Care Health Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG) and the nation's largest and most comprehensive manager of convenient care clinics and worksite health and wellness centers, now provides patients the added convenience of being able to schedule appointments online or in the clinic.
These new scheduling options further Walgreens commitment to improving patient access to quality health care services and increasing transparency in healthcare. In addition to scheduling Take Care Clinic appointments online, takecarehealth.com offers access to a comprehensive cost menu to quickly evaluate the cost of services, as well as local and up-to-date information on patient satisfaction scores and market-specific quality of care scores based on National Center for Quality Assurance Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) guidelines. HEDIS guidelines are used by more than 90 percent of America's health plans to measure performance on health care delivery. For patients planning a walk-in visit to a Take Care Clinic, takecarehealth.com offers access to estimated wait times at each clinic.
“Our goal is always to leverage leading technology and practices to help our patients receive the care they need, on their terms, and the ability to offer appointments will help us do just that, said Heather Helle, divisional vice president for Walgreens Consumer Solutions Group. “Now patients or health systems partners can easily evaluate which clinic location makes the most sense for a visit at a convenient time, and we believe this will ultimately help create the simpler and easier health care experience that is being sought by patients and their health care providers.”
A recent study released by the Rand Corporation showed that the use of walk-in retail clinics to treat common illness like respiratory infections, ear aches, sore throats, flu symptoms and other acute conditions is on the rise – having increased 10-fold in just the past two years. The study also found that patients who visited clinics could reduce healthcare costs for themselves and the overall system, as care provided at the clinics is on average 30-40 percent less expensive than a physician’s office for similar services and 80 percent less expensive than care provided at a hospital emergency room.
“The suite of online tools, affordable service and convenience that Take Care Clinics offer is unique in the marketplace,” said Sandra Festa Ryan, MSN, CPNP, FAANP and chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “We believe that as we continue to explore new and exciting ways to reach our patients, such as relationships with health systems, our unique offerings can further drive value for our patients and our coordinated care partners.”
Take Care Clinics are walk-in, professional health care centers located at more than 350 select Walgreens drugstores across the country. Board-certified family nurse practitioners and physician assistants treat patients 18 months and older for common illnesses, offer preventive services such as vaccines and physicals and are licensed to write prescriptions, when necessary, that can be filled at the patient’s pharmacy of choice.