Walgreens Take Care Health Systems to Operate Cisco’s On-Site LifeConnections Employee Health Center

Press Release   •   Nov 30, 2011 05:44 EST

Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) subsidiary Take Care Health Systems, the nation's largest and most comprehensive manager of convenient care clinics and employer-based health and wellness centers, has formed a relationship with Cisco to operate the LifeConnections Health Center on Cisco’s campus in San Jose, Calif. The LifeConnections Health Center provides Cisco employees and dependents with comprehensive and integrated health and wellness services including primary care, physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, vision, health coaching and an onsite Walgreens pharmacy.

In an innovative step for workplace based health centers, Take Care Health System’s clinical team at the Cisco LifeConnections Health Center will also offer acute care services for employees located at Cisco’s campus in Durham, North Carolina using Cisco HealthPresence technology. Cisco HealthPresence extends the reach of health care providers by allowing patients and clinicians to interact over distances through an integrated system of high-definition video, advanced audio, medical devices, and collaboration tools. The use of the technology at the LifeConnections Health Center demonstrates the ability of a centralized clinical team to provide health care services for an employer’s geographically dispersed workforce.

“We are taking a holistic view of health and wellness and providing employees with the ability to easily and safely connect with doctors and clinicians across great distance,” said Nirmal Patel, M.D., director, Corporate Medical Programs, Cisco. “By combining Cisco technology solutions with Take Care Health’s market presence, we believe we are helping to redefine how health services are delivered.”

The Cisco LifeConnections Health Center is available to all Cisco employees. The San Jose LifeConnections Health Center location can serve 40,000 Cisco employees and dependents at the San Jose location and an additional 3,600 Cisco employees in North Carolina via Cisco HealthPresence. The LifeConnections Health Center is staffed by more than 30 team members including physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses (RN), physical therapists, and others. The facility in North Carolina is staffed by an RN who will assist patients in interacting with the clinical team through the Cisco HealthPresence System.

“Through our network of Walgreens pharmacies, as well as through Take Care Health’s leading position in retail and workplace health centers, we provide thousands of access points to health care services,” said Peter Hotz, group vice president for Walgreens. “Exploration of innovative technologies such as Cisco HealthPresence, will allow us to further grow our reach, in turn generating the potential for even stronger outcomes for patients, businesses and payers.”

The patient experience at the Cisco LifeConnections Health Center is enabled by technology, offering a web-based patient portal that allows patients to manage their care. Using their personal, secure account, patients can schedule appointments online, secure message with clinicians, review their medical record and visit history, refill prescriptions, and export their medical record for use with other providers or systems. When visiting the LifeConnections Health Center, employees in both San Jose and Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina check-in through electronic kiosks which provide real-time eligibility verification and interconnectivity with an electronic medical record system.

Employers are increasingly looking to offer onsite health and wellness services according to a 2011 report from Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. Results published in the report were generated from a survey of 588 employers conducted between November 2010 and January 2011 and showed that 23 percent of companies currently offer onsite health services and that an additional 12 percent of companies plan to begin to offer services in 2012.