Johns Hopkins, Walgreens Team Up to Focus on Chronic Disease Management


By Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor

Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and Walgreens have entered into an agreement designed to promote collaboration on population-based research and to jointly review and develop protocols to improve outcomes of patients with chronic diseases. The two organizations will also explore the development of new models for improving care for individuals, including the creation of new educational and training programs for Walgreens’ 70,000 health care service providers.

The agreement provides JHM with the opportunity to develop population-based research ideas by leveraging Walgreens’ advanced data systems and large patient base, according to a press release. All patient information used for the studies will be anonymous.

Through programs like the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, Johns Hopkins has been working to create new models of health care delivery that are designed to improve patient safety, quality, and efficiency at hospitals around the world.

“By collaborating with Johns Hopkins Medicine, we will access some of the best expertise in health care to develop research, protocols and training programs designed to improve patient outcomes through our nationwide network of accessible community pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physicians and other clinicians,” says Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness.

“Improving the care of people with chronic conditions, like asthma, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease, is a central goal of health professionals, health systems and U.S. policy makers,” says Fred Brancati, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “It makes sense medically, and under health care reform, it makes sense financially, too. It’s a part of the Hopkins mission that Walgreens can help us advance. Combining our clinical expertise and research know-how with their nationwide resources—including pharmacies, clinics, worksite health centers, information systems and 70,000 health care service providers—will generate new approaches to improve population health.”

Specifically, the agreement creates opportunities for:

  • Research Programs. In conjunction with the current Walgreens research team, JHM experts will develop new ideas for research in disease management, screening and prevention that can be rolled into proposals for funding.
  • Clinical Protocol Development/Review. Drawing upon their experience in developing health care protocols, medical guidelines and algorithms in the areas of chronic disease management, Johns Hopkins faculty members will work closely with Walgreen experts to review and improve care.
  • Professional Training. By leveraging the capabilities within JHM in the area of onsite and distance education for physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians, pharmacists and others, JHM hopes to develop a comprehensive program to expand and enhance the ongoing professional education of the professionals within the Walgreens network.

Clinical Program Development and Health Plan Services. JHM and Walgreens will explore the possibility of jointly developing lifestyle, chronic care and disease-specific programs.

For more information about the program, click here.

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