Retail News Breaks
Take Care Health gets high marks for treatment
October 4th, 2010
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – New data show that care by Take Care Health Systems retail health clinics for such common childhood conditions as a sore throat and an upper respiratory infection meet or exceed the quality of care in other settings, based on national benchmarks.
The Walgreen Co. in-store clinic subsidiary said Monday that an analysis of information gathered by the Jefferson School of Population Health found that Take Care health professionals treating children met National Center for Quality Assurance Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) guidelines in nearly 93% of pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat) visits and over 88% of upper respiratory infection (URI) visits.
That compares with the average rates for HEDIS guideline adherence in the broader health care community of 74.7% for pharyngitis visits and 83.5% for URI visits, according to Take Care Health.
Results of the analysis, which examined de-identified data collected through Take Care Health's electronic medical record system, were published recently in the American Journal of Medical Quality, the company said. The analysis specifically focused on the treatment of two of the most common acute illness in children — pharyngitis and URIs — and measured it against HEDIS guidelines, which are used by over 90% of the nation's health plans to assess performance on care and service.
"Walgreens is continuing to build, develop and invest in models of care that have the ability to increase health care access for patients while lowering costs," Hal Rosenbluth, senior vice president at Walgreens and president of the Walgreens Health and Wellness division, said in a statement. "Continued evidence that innovations like retail clinics can truly create the best possible outcomes while mitigating upward trends in health care spending encourages ongoing collaboration with the health care community, further evolving the way patients in this country seek and receive health care services."
Researchers also noted that Take Care Health demonstrated a patient-centric focus on quality exhibited by patient follow-up protocols, which is rare in standard medical practice, the company said. All patients who have a sick visit to a Take Care clinic receive a follow-up call from a Take Care health professional within 48 hours of the visit.
Take Care Health added that the study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality, in conjunction with prior published research, continues to statistically demonstrate that providers at clinics in or near retail pharmacies prescribe antibiotics meeting and exceeding national benchmarks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inappropriate antibiotic use is the primary cause of increases in drug-resistant bacteria, with children having the highest rates of antibiotics use.
"At this point in the ongoing evolution of medicine, it is imperative that the health care community quickly studies and adopts advances in health care access and treatment in order to confront the significant challenges which stand in the way of a healthier population," commented David Nash, founding dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health. "Retail clinics like Take Care Health provide an unprecedented opportunity for health care access, and ongoing analysis continues to show tremendous results with regard to quality and cost — three key factors in improving the way patients access health care in the United States."
Data for the quality analysis were collected between Oct. 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2008. during which time Take Care Health opened more than 200 clinics nationwide. Company officials cite the proprietary EMR system used in Take Care clinics a a key enabler of the strong quality scores.
"During a time of rapid growth for Take Care Clinics, we were able to easily and consistently monitor quality metrics on micro and macro levels," stated Sandra Festa Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health. "Our EMR system allows clinical and training teams to quickly analyze specific provider information as well as companywide information. Real-time trend analysis and rapid identification of best practices across a nationwide network of hundreds of care facilities has always been engrained in our clinical practice."
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