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Canada’s Pharmasave introduces new travel vaccination service

BY Michael Johnsen

Pharmasave on Thursday announced the introduction of new travel health services for Canadians planning to travel locally or internationally.

“To fully enjoy a vacation and come home feeling recharged, it’s important to plan ahead to protect yourself from illness and injury,” Allison Nourse, Pharmasave director, pharmacy innovation, said. “Depending on which part of the world you are traveling to and how you plan to get there, your community pharmacist can recommend and administer vaccines and ensure you have the necessary prescriptions and over-the-counter medications based on your travel itinerary and health history. Based on your destination, they can provide details on potential health and safety risks such as food and water safety as well as insect precautions. Ideally, travelers should see their pharmacist six weeks before they plan to leave.”

Up to 64% of travelers to developing countries report a health problem during their trip. Most of these are illnesses that may resolve on their own or which should have no long-term harmful effect on a traveler’s health such as diarrhea, respiratory infections, and skin disorders. However, approximately 8% of these travelers are sick enough to seek medical care from a healthcare provider either while traveling or shortly after returning home.

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Health Dialog CMO to extol values of SDM at health workshop

BY Michael Johnsen

Health Dialog chief medical officer Peter Goldbach is slated to speak at the National Quality Forum workshop, “Using Shared Decision Making to Drive Population Health Strategy,” held on March 19 in Philadelphia, where he will join national advocates for shared decision making.

“SDM’s time has come,” Goldbach said. “Extensive data, spanning 20 years of practice, demonstrate clearly its effectiveness in producing better health outcomes for patients while reducing medical costs. Using SDM, patients feel empowered, more informed and more satisfied with their care choices and care providers. With value-based care finally upon us, there is no better time nor method to deliver high-quality, patient-centric, cost-effective care than through the practice of SDM.”

The workshop follows the NQF’s 2017 landmark Call to Action to make SDM a standard of person-centered care and subsequent publication of its “National Quality Partners Playbook: Shared Decision Making in Healthcare,” which the NQF released March 12 at its annual conference. The Playbook is the first of its kind to provide practical, actionable solutions to overcome common barriers to SDM in clinical practice.

SDM is a collaborative process between physicians and patients that may rely on the use of decision aids, which offer evidence-based information about treatment choices to help patients understand their options, consider their personal values and preferences, and prepare them to talk with their provider to make a more informed decision. More than a decade of published studies show SDM reduces elective surgeries, reduces costs, drives better patient outcomes and produces happier patients who are more satisfied with their provider and their care.

The NQF workshop joins the expertise of NQF’s Shared Decision Making Action Team, 20 SDM advocates representing a diverse range of perspectives — patient, provider and health system — with featured speakers, including clinicians from the nation’s most mature, successful SDM programs. Workshop speakers will discuss the fundamental principles of SDM and share key strategies for its successful use across a variety of care settings.

The pre-conference workshop is part of Thomas Jefferson University’s 18th Population Health Colloquium.

Health Dialog, a subsidiary of Rite Aid, is a leading provider of population health management solutions. The company works with the nation’s largest third-party payers, employers and providers to improve the health and wellness of their members, employees and patients while reducing costs and improving performance in key quality measures, such as NCQA’s HEDIS and CMS’ Stars ratings.

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Harris Teeter acquires 10 Farm Fresh store locations

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger subsidiary Harris Teeter announced Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with Supervalu and its affiliates to purchase 10 Farm Fresh store locations in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

The transaction is expected to be complete in May, 2018. Harris Teeter intends to finalize its remodel and re-opening plans while the stores are closed. Pharmacies at three of the purchased stores will remain open throughout the transition.

“Farm Fresh has a long tradition of operating in Hampton Roads,” Danna Robinson, communication manager for Harris Teeter, said. “These stores make this an especially attractive transaction for Harris Teeter. We plan to invest in remodeling a number of these locations to better serve our shoppers, and we look forward to continuing to expand our offerings to our Hampton Roads neighbors.”

Harris Teeter is committed to serving the communities where it does business. In 2017, Harris Teeter committed more than $90,000 to its nonprofit partners throughout Hampton Roads. This agreement will enable the company to enhance its existing community partnerships with partners such as Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia; The Food Bank of the Virginia Peninsula; United Way of South Hampton Roads as well as hundreds of local schools – grades k-12 through its Together In Education program.

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