MinuteClinic, MDs create health data exchange

CVS subsidiary MinuteClinic, which claims to be the nation's largest retail clinic operator, has joined with the American Academy of Family Physicians to set up a health data exchange between clinic sites and family doctors. The groups are basing the exchange on ASTM International's Continuity of Care Record standard, which is designed to provide "the most relevant administrative, demographic, and clinical information facts about a patient's healthcare," according to the group. While MinuteClinic already supplies a patient-approved visit summary to a patient's family physician via fax and mail. Under the new system, however, MinuteClinic patients and physicians will get a health data summary including problems, diagnoses, medication list, allergies, vital signs and lab results.

The announcement suggests that MinuteClinic is doing a significantly better job of fostering relationships with providers than its competitors. After all, if family physicians are willing to share data voluntarily with an outsider, that's trust. Competitor Take Care Health Systems, in contrast, doesn't seem to have been able to make a provider relationship last. MinuteClinic, which operates 82 retail clinics in 10 states, was acquired by CVS Corp. earlier this year.

To learn more about the exchange:
- read the groups' release