Drug store chain Walgreens in March is rolling out a service to electronically deliver to primary care physicians their patient immunization records from its 7,800 Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies, and 350 Take Care Clinics.
Later this year, Walgreens will provide electronic immunization reporting to state and local public health agencies, and electronically submit to primary care providers summaries of care that their patients receive from a Take Care clinic. Patients must opt-in to the service before their physicians can receive the immunization reports and summaries.
Walgreens will use the national network of electronic prescribing vendor SureScripts, which in 2010 added clinical data exchange capability, to send immunization records and patient summaries. Physicians using an electronic health records system certified for SureScripts’ network can have the information sent to the EHR. Providers also can continue to receive this information from the pharmacies or clinics via fax or postal mail.
During the ongoing 2011-2012 flu season, Walgreens’ pharmacists and clinicians administered more than 5.5 million immunizations, according to the company. SureScripts recently surveyed 400 physicians, finding that 39 percent are frequently missing immunization records during a visit and 35 percent often are missing patient summaries.
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