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Lourdes Health System launches partnership with Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMDEN, N.J. — Lourdes Health System on Monday launched a partnership with Walgreens to improve the care of its patients after they are discharged from the hospital. The partnership is part of a larger collaboration between Walgreens and CHE Trinity Health, Lourdes’ parent organization.

“Medication non-compliance is a major reason for readmission to the hospital, especially for patients with chronic conditions such as heart failure and diabetes,” stated Lourdes Health System president and CEO Alexander Hatala. “Working with patients before they leave the hospital and after they are discharged will help ensure patients obtain, understand and take the medicines that are an important part of their health.”

Lourdes has three initiatives with Walgreens. Some components of the partnership have already commenced while others are in the planning stages.  These are:

  • Bedside medication delivery: Already implemented at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, a Walgreens pharmacy technician visits each patient to see if he or she would like to get their discharge medications from Walgreens on their day of discharge from the hospital. Patients opt to get their medications one time if they want and then continue using their own pharmacy. The medicines are delivered from a nearby Walgreens pharmacy within one or two hours of discharge. A Walgreens pharmacist is available by phone to answer any questions;
  • Walgreens Transitions Program: Currently in the process of being implemented at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, patients can enroll in WTP when they are admitted. The patient receives his or her medication through Walgreens bedside delivery or a Walgreens retail pharmacy. Within 48 hours of discharge, a pharmacist will contact the patient to review medications and answer any questions or concerns. A Walgreens pharmacist will contact the patient two more times within the next 30 days to see how the patient is doing. After 30 days, the patient can switch to his or her usual pharmacy if desired; and
  • Walgreens Onsite Pharmacy: By fall 2014, Walgreens will renovate an area just off the first floor lobby at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center for a retail pharmacy. The pharmacy will be convenient for patients and family members to pick up prescribed medication before heading home. The pharmacy also will be open to Lourdes employees and visitors.

 
“For some patients, there is no pharmacy near their home,” said Hatala. “Being able to fill their initial prescription at the hospital will not only save time, but through education also encourage them to take it as directed. This program helps us to transition patients home with the medications they need from day one.”

Lourdes’ partnership with Walgreens is part of a clinical care collaboration agreement with its parent company, CHE Trinity Health. The organizations have agreed to pursue innovative models of care in select markets—such as those served by Lourdes Health System. The collaborative model aims to improve people’s health while increasing consumers’ access and lowering overall healthcare costs.

“This collaboration is based on our organizations’ mutual commitment to serve people at every intersection of their health and wellness needs,” commented Scott Nordlund, EVP growth, strategy and innovation, CHE Trinity Health. “Transformative ideas for improving care are central to our mission at CHE Trinity Health, so we are pleased to join with Walgreens to introduce new and better strategies for health and wellness throughout our communities.”

“Coordinated care programs are vitally important to help ensure patients have access to the quality, convenient, affordable care they need before, during and after a hospital admission,” added Alan  London, Walgreens VP strategic clinical partners. “Working with an integrated health system such as CHE Trinity Health offers an ideal opportunity to further leverage Walgreens health care assets to coordinate patient care across multiple regions of the country. We look forward to working together to help patients in these communities get, stay and live well.”

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WSJ: U.S. Wockhardt plant accused of employing an unapproved method to test drug quality

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW DELHI — Indian drug maker Wockhardt has been charged by the Food and Drug Administration with utilizing the same unapproved method to test drug quality in its Morton Grove, Ill., facility as two facilities in India, both of which were subsequently banned from importing into the United States,the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Citing inspection documents released on the FDA website, the WSJ reported that Wockhardt employees used "trial injections," in which early sample tests of the drugs were taken before the official recorded quality test.

The Morton Grove plant produces roughly half of the drugs the company sells in the United States, according to the WSJ report.

According to the FDA’s website, FDA regulators found appropriate controls were not exercised over computers or related systems at the Chicago plant, meaning any user could change or delete data stored on them. Further, staff was not properly trained under current good manufacturing practices, the website showed. In addition, the FDA’s investigator observed an employee entering the manufacturing area of the plant without washing and sanitising his hands.

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Apple unveils greater health app functionality with release of iOS 8

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO –Along with Apple’s release of iOS 8 on Monday, the company introduced an entirely new Health app that provides a clear overview of a user’s health and fitness data.

The new Health app gathers the information the user chooses from various health apps and fitness devices, and provides them with a clear and current overview in one place, Apple announced. iOS 8 offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other through a new tool for developers called HealthKit. With the user’s permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness.

For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics, such as sleep and nutrition, to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance. Or data from a blood pressure app can be automatically shared with the doctor.

Users will also be able to create an emergency card with important health information — for example blood type or allergies — that’s accessible from the lock screen.

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