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CCA certification to ensure quality

BY DSN STAFF

ORLANDO, Fla. —It has been nearly two years since the incorporation of the Convenient Care Association, and within that short time the association has served as a guiding light for the burgeoning retail clinic industry, a role it furthered at the Retail Clinician Education Congress held here in August.

During the first-ever event, Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA, and Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer of Take Care Health Systems, provided attendees with an overview of the CCA, announced a new certification process and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

The CCA was incorporated in October 2006 with about 150 convenient care clinics in operation. Today, that number stands at about 1,000 clinics with as many as 1,500 clinics projected by the end of 2008.

The CCA’s focus: To establish quality care standards, provide industry education and address common policy and practice challenges.

“One of the main objectives is that quality has to be there—we felt strongly that we had to be leaders in this,” Ryan said. In March 2007, the CCA adopted industry standards. The mandatory standards go beyond those suggested by such major medical bodies as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians.

As part of CCA’s ongoing commitment to quality and safety, it was announced at the conference that CCA this year developed the CCA certification system. CCA has contracted with the Department of Health Policy of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia to oversee a certification process for the convenient care industry. This fall the first certifications are expected to be completed.

The goal of certification: “To ensure patient safety, the delivery of high-quality health care and to improve quality services to the clinic patient population.”

The certification assessment will cover such key areas as credentials, organizational structure, conformity with patient care guidelines, documentation, provider communication and quality management operations. The CCA board of directors has the right to revoke or suspend a member’s certification if he or she fails to comply.

Going forward, additional processes are expected to be developed to audit on-site operations.

During the presentation, Hansen-Turton also discussed the rapid growth of the industry and the acceptance of the model by patients and, as of late, more third-party payers.

“You are part of a movement that has [treated] more than 3.5 million people…and they love you and love what you are doing in the clinics,” Hansen-Turton told attendees. “We know that patient satisfaction is greater than 90 percent.” In fact, a CCA member survey yielded a 98 percent patient-satisfaction rate.

Third-party payers increasingly are jumping onboard, and a major example is the recent move by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The group now is offering a new benefit option that eliminates co-pays for members who use retail clinics.

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Winn-Dixie completes 100th store remodel

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Less than 18 months after announcing a major remodel initiative for all of its 521 stores, Winn-Dixie Stores, on Thursday announced the completion of remodel No. 100.

The newest remodeled store, in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, is celebrating its grand opening today.

The Hialeah store showcases the company’s fresh and local strategic initiative—an updated storefront, combined with expanded produce and floral departments. The store’s deli and bakery were upgraded with a wood-burning rotisserie and bread warmer, a wing bar, an olive bar and a specialty dessert case. The store also features new energy-efficient refrigerators and frozen food cases as well as new wood flooring and a contemporary color palette.

“This is not only a milestone for our Company, but it also symbolizes the hard work and dedication of our associates and the loyalty of our customers,” stated Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “It’s all about being fresh and local—from our decor to our merchandising and marketing initiatives, we are tailoring every detail of our remodeled stores to meet the needs of neighborhoods we serve. As the remodel program moves forward, we will have a significantly stronger store base from which to compete and leverage the strength of our brand. We plan to remodel half the chain by June 2010.”

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Longs to carry GE digital cameras

BY Michael Johnsen

TORRANCE, Calif. Already distributed through Walgreens, General Imaging, the worldwide exclusive licensee for GE digital cameras, may be getting a foot in the door with CVS with Thursday’s announcement that its retail camera line is to be picked up by Longs Drug beginning in October.

Under the agreement, Longs stores will stock three models—the A730 Black, the A835 Black and the A1030 Red.

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