WOONSOCKET, R.I. and SAN DIEGO, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), and Sharp HealthCare – one of Southern California's largest integrated health systems – have entered into a clinical affiliation to enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services throughout San Diego County, the second most populous county in California.
MinuteClinic currently has 10 walk-in medical clinics open seven days a week inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in San Diego County with no appointment necessary.
The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for common family illnesses and administer wellness and prevention services, including health-condition monitoring.
"It was important for us to develop a clinical affiliation with a system like Sharp HealthCare that delivers high quality services throughout San Diego County and overlaps with our clinic sites which span from Oceanside to El Cajon," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., president, MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer, CVS Caremark. "We look forward to working with them to integrate our electronic medical record systems and develop collaborative programs that improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help people on their path to better health."
The clinical affiliation encourages collaboration among Sharp HealthCare and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at these locations. Sharp-affiliated physicians will supervise MinuteClinic nurse practitioners, and if more comprehensive follow-up care is needed, patients can choose to see a Sharp-affiliated physician or another primary care physician.
"Increasing access to care is indeed important, especially in this era of health care reform," said Mike Murphy, CEO of Sharp HealthCare. "MinuteClinic plays an important role in providing patients with timely care at an affordable price, and we are pleased to be part of this effort to help deliver the kind of care that patients want."
Sharp is San Diego's largest integrated health system with more than 15,500 employees, 2,600 affiliated physicians, and multiple facilities throughout the county. Sharp began developing its present model of care in the 1980s, closely coordinating the continuum of care among patients, their doctors and hospitals. Today, Sharp's integrated model is recognized locally and nationally for delivering high-quality, cost-efficient outcomes for the patients it serves.
MinuteClinic and Sharp HealthCare will begin to work toward integrating electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual's care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other Sharp HealthCare facilities and physicians. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours, with patient consent.
In addition, MinuteClinic and Sharp HealthCare will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offers.
MinuteClinic fills an important role in the care continuum with nurse practitioners who can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia, pertussis and Hepatitis A & B are available at most locations. Walk-in camp, sports, college, Department of Transportation and administrative physicals for patients are available daily. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
MinuteClinic locations in Carlsbad (Rancho Sante Fe Road) and El Cajon are open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All other locations in San Diego County are open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
About Sharp HealthCare A 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's most comprehensive health care delivery system. It is recognized for clinical excellence in cardiac, cancer, multi-organ transplantation, orthopedics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, women's health, home health and hospice services. Sharp HealthCare has been widely acclaimed for its commitment to transform the health care experience for patients, physicians and staff through an organization-wide performance improvement initiative called The Sharp Experience. The Sharp system includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, two affiliated medical groups and a health plan. To learn more about Sharp, visit www.sharp.com or stay connected with Sharp on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About MinuteClinic MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with approximately 625 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than 15 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive three consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.