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Connecting Patients to Care: In the Community
“Connecting Patients to Care” is a three-part series that looks at how care delivery is evolving to better meet patients’ needs. With the expansion of technological solutions, the advent of retail health care clinics and the growth of in-home health services, patients have greater choice in how they access their care, when and where they need it – whether it be in the community, in their home or through digital interactions.
Health care truly begins at the community level, and it’s more than simply visiting a health care professional or taking a prescription. In fact, data show that 60 percent of patients’ overall health and well-being is driven by behavioral and social factors, like housing, education, food and family.1 To meet the unique needs of patients at the community level, CVS Health offers a variety of easily accessible health resources and touchpoints to care locally.
Commitment to Building Healthier Communities
At CVS Health, we are committed to improving health community by community, which is why we launched the Building Healthier Communities initiative – a five-year, $100-million commitment providing expanded access to free health screenings, increased funding to address public health challenges, and additional investments to address social and environmental factors.
This initiative builds on our long-standing commitments to employee volunteer programs and bolsters our partnerships with local and national community organizations to help improve health care at the community level.
Serving as a Front Door to Health Care
With more than 10,000 locations nationwide, CVS Health serves as a front door to health care for more than four-million patients every day. At CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic, trusted health care professionals answer questions and provide information to help patients manage their care. Furthermore, by coupling the community footprint of CVS Health with Aetna’s health data, we can engage patients on a more personal level. Through this combination, we’ll be there more frequently to provide patients with the support they need.
Today, CVS Health pharmacists are moving from behind the counter to engage with patients at a deeper level. Our 30,000 pharmacists provide a human touch to health care locally, whether counseling patients on their medications or administering preventive health services like screenings and immunizations.
Complementing Access to Primary Care
Through our local presence in the community, our pharmacists and health practitioners are uniquely positioned to fill gaps in care and support a more connected health care system. While a patient might see a physician four or five times a year, they are likely to visit their local pharmacy as many as 18 to 24 times in the same year. These frequent interactions with trusted health care professionals help patients navigate and stay on their care plans between their doctor visits.
In addition to support at the pharmacy counter, our 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer quality health care services ranging from acute care to chronic disease management. By sharing visit information with patients’ care teams, MinuteClinic is ensuring that all providers along the care continuum have access to a complete view of the patient’s prescription and medical records, which can help facilitate more informed health care decision-making.
For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.