MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, and Lifespan, Rhode Island's largest health system, which includes five partner hospitals and multiple physician groups, announced today that they have entered into a clinical collaboration agreement. The affiliation will enhance access to high quality, affordable health care services at MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics opening inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Rhode Island beginning later this week.
The new Rhode Island clinics, opening this fall and in 2015, will be located in Cranston, East Greenwich, North Smithfield, Providence, Wakefield, Westerly and Woonsocket.
The collaboration encourages interaction between Lifespan and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination and access to care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations. Toward that end, both organizations will integrate their electronic medical records to further promote exchange of clinical information, with patients' permission.
For those patients who do not have regular access to primary care, MinuteClinic provides assistance in finding a primary care physician.
MinuteClinic locations in Rhode Island will be open seven days a week, offering weekday evening hours with no appointment necessary and most health insurance accepted. The clinics will be staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who provide treatment for common family illnesses and administer wellness and prevention services, including health-condition monitoring for patients with chronic diseases.
"As we have experienced in other states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, MinuteClinic can support the primary care model in Rhode Island by helping to improve access to care, particularly on weekends and evenings when primary care providers may not be available," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., president, MinuteClinic, and senior vice president/ associate chief medical officer, CVS Health. "Through our convenient locations, we're pleased that the state's largest health care system has agreed to affiliate with MinuteClinic to increase access and convenience for patients seeking care."
Both MinuteClinic and Lifespan will eventually use the Epic electronic medical record to streamline communication around all aspects of each patient's care. MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with the patient's primary care provider at Lifespan. MinuteClinic will also send patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with Lifespan via fax or mail with the patient's consent. MinuteClinic will also participate in Current Care, the state's health information exchange.
Founded in 1994 by Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, Lifespan is a comprehensive, integrated, academic health system affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Lifespan's partners also include Rhode Island Hospital's pediatric facility, Hasbro Children's Hospital; Bradley Hospital and Newport Hospital. It includes a network of 1,842 affiliated physicians throughout the state.
"We're pleased to collaborate with MinuteClinic to improve access and coordination of care for patients seen at clinic locations," said John Murphy, M.D., executive vice president, physician affairs, Lifespan. "We will continue to work with MinuteClinic and with our other physician partners to ensure the appropriate level of care is provided in a timely manner to all patients in our community."
MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants specialize in family health care and 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 and B are available at most locations. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help patients identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Editorial note: Written from a press release.