Enhanced EHR Helps Retail Clinics Coordinate Care

November 9th 2015

Walgreens Healthcare Clinics will soon move to a new electronic health record system to improve care coordination among clinicians.

Walgreens Healthcare Clinics will soon move to a new electronic health record (EHR) system to improve care coordination among clinicians.

The Care Everywhere network owned by health technology firm Epic will allow Walgreens’ retail clinics and practitioners to securely connect with other health care organizations to share patient medication lists and assist with medication reconciliation during clinic visits.

“This state-of-the-industry EHR will enable more seamless communication with health systems and local providers, and gives us enhanced capabilities to deliver better health outcomes through greater care coordination and interoperability,” stated Healthcare Clinics chief medical officer Patrick Carroll, MD.

Walgreens’ plan to adopt Care Everywhere in early 2016 follows CVS Caremark’s decision last year to integrate Epic’s EHR system into its MinuteClinic division.

MinuteClinic chief medical officer Nancy J. Gagliano, MD, toldModernHealthcarethat the decision to collaborate with Epic was born out of the clinics’ need for a “robust IT system, an EHR that will effectively interconnect with our affiliated partners,” in addition to health information exchanges.

Gagliano also noted that the customization and data analytics capabilities of Epic’s Care Everywhere network will allow MinuteClinic to build workflow rules that will streamline the work of its practitioners, who follow tight clinical guidelines.

The EHR platform presents an opportunity for nurse practitioners and physician assistants working in retail clinics, as they are on thefront linesof navigating the Affordable Care Act and have a mandate to provide high-quality, streamlined care.

Speaking to the Walgreens collaboration, Epic president Carl Dvorak stated that his company “look(s) forward to supporting their goal of improving access to high-quality, coordinated care.”

Walgreens currently operates more than 400 Healthcare Clinics in the United States, and it will soon control Rite Aid’s portfolio of more than 1800 RediClinics after the recently announcedacquisitioncloses.

Meanwhile, CVSrecently openedits 1000thMinuteClinic.

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