Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, Inovalon deal represents further advancement for convenient care industry

Walgreens Healthcare Clinic (formerly known as Take Care Clinic) has formed a multi-year agreement with healthcare technology company Inovalon to provide Inovalon’s data-driven encounter support platform, Electronic Patient Assessment Solution Suite (ePASS), within Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens.

The news clearly represents yet another step in Walgreens’ commitment to improving patients’ access to healthcare solutions. In fact, the news comes about a week after the retailer announced that it is bringing access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide.

It is important to also note that the partnership with Inovalon represents another advancement for the convenient care industry. As retail-based health clinics continue to play an increasingly vital role in the U.S. healthcare system, having nurse practitioners working within such clinics utilizing the power of analytics to provide a higher level of individualized care to patients is significant.

And the timing is likely not coincidental. Having such analytics available in a point-of-care environment is bound to prove beneficial as healthcare reform brings some 30 million Americans into the insurance fold come 2014.

The reality is that the industry shouldn’t be surprised to see more of such partnerships as the number of retail-based health clinics is projected to double in the next three years, according to a report by Accenture ACN, and pharmacy retailers work to strengthen their foothold along the front lines of health care.