A few months ago, we shared that Walgreens pharmacy had entered the Care Transitions business with a program to help avoid readmissions. You can read the article here. In a nutshell, they saw some opportunities in the Care Transition space.
To start, Walgreen's understands that a couple of the key reasons patients are readmitted is that they don't fill their meds or they have the wrong meds. Guess what? Walgreens can provide the meds that they need and make some money at it (note that the program doesn't require that the patient get their meds from Walgreens).
It also seems that Walgreens pictures the future of health care and knows the critical role that they can play in helping avoid hospitalizations. I admire their vision and their resolve, and remain optimistic that the home care industry will borrow from their playbook.
Care Transitions is only the beginning for Walgreens. According to this article in Forbes, They recognize that healthcare is undergoing a transformation that will include new players and new ways of doing business. They are determined to being one of those key players and they are putting technology at the core of their strategy.
"Walgreens is looking to improve its whole operating model from end to end" - Walgreens CIO Tim Theriault
Among the elements in Walgreens' strategy are the following items:
- A cloud-based Electronic Medical Record
- Mobile-enabled retail outlets and clinics
- Managing immunizations and secure immunization records for Veterans
- Expanded customer rewards programs
- Prescription updates on cell phones
- Use of Big Data analytics in determining consumer behavior
What Can Home Care Learn from Walgrens?
Unlike Walgreens, the home care industry isn't one company, so movement in the industry needs to come from individual agencies. Some recommended actions for your agency are as follows:
- Look for new roles for your agency to play in the future of healthcare. My recommendation is to look for opportunities in managing care transitions and ongoing chronic care.
- Think beyond the traditional boundaries of your agency and look for opportunities to collaborate and coordinate care with others (perhaps Walgreens)
- Take a hard look at your technology and whether it will take you to where you need to go. Specifically, can your systems share patient information, scheduling and notes with others?
It's an exciting future and the visionary leaders among you will play a key role in it.
If you're interested in learning more about how your agency can benefit from a Care Transitions initiative, you can download our free White Paper, Increasing Profitability via CareTransitions.
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care.
To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.