Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Discusses Company’s Use of Multi-Channel Technology to Improve Access to Care at CES Digital Health Summit
DEERFIELD, Ill., Jan. 7, 2011 - The range of ways Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) is leveraging technology to make personal health management easier for patients was highlighted today by the company’s chief medical officer, Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH, moderator of the opening panel on the future of digital health at the Consumer Electronics Show’s (CES) Digital Health Summit. Pegus discussed the evolution of digital health at Walgreens and how the company’s current suite of solutions is driving improved access, outcomes and cost -effective care for both acute and chronic conditions. The Digital Health Summit spotlights the growing market of consumer-based health and wellness innovations, and was attended by thought-leaders from both the health care and technology sectors.
Pegus discussed how Walgreens has embraced the use of mobile technology platforms as a means of improving delivery of care to patients. The company now offers mobile applications for iPhone®, AndroidTM, and Blackberry®,1 devices, featuring text alerts for more than 1 million subscribers, and a function that allows patients to simply scan the barcode of their prescription to send in refills. In addition to these mobile applications, patients are also able to access Walgreens.com on the go for pharmacy and retail purchasing as well as health risk assessments and prescription-related information.
“Access to the right care, at the right time, is enabled for our consumers and patients by integrating mobile technology into the services we offer patients to help them stay well,” Pegus said.
Pegus also highlighted how Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are utilizing technology to deliver integrated, quality care and simplify and improve the patient experience. For example, at all of the more than 350 Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens, patients “sign in” using electronic kiosks which help them understand their estimated wait time and avoid manually filling out paperwork. Data inputted into the kiosk prompts the creation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) which allows providers across the country to more quickly and comprehensively understand a patient’s history. The Walgreens pharmacists and Take Care providers use an eCommunication program to coordinate care with a patient’s pharmacy provider and can quickly generate reports to share with a patient’s primary care provider to facilitate coordinated care.
Walgreens use of digital health to enhance the management of chronic conditions was also highlighted. Through E-prescribing, prescriptions are routed directly to a patient’s pharmacy, improving patient safety and convenience by allowing for a real-time cross-check for any drug interactions. A Walgreens tool, RxAdvisor, facilitates regular pharmacist consultations with patients about their medication regimen online or face-to-face. Another Walgreens offering, MedMonitor® Complete, provides prescription and care management with face-to-face and telephonic support utilizing a nationwide network of more than 10,000 pharmacies.
“Leveraging our unmatched national footprint and 70,000 affiliated health care providers to provide access to care and help address the challenge of chronic care management are two key areas of strategic focus for Walgreens,” Pegus said. “By using technology to improve the patient experience and coordination of care, we can continue to improve measurable outcomes, adherence and quality, while also providing cost-effective care.”
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company operates 7,650 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with pharmacy benefit solutions and respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
Statements regarding Walgreens in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of Walgreens most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K which is incorporated herein by reference and in other documents that Walgreens files or furnishes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.
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