The Rite Aid Corporation has announced the launch of RediClinic Express, adding telehealth to its in-store healthcare services.
In partnership with InTouch Health,Rite Aid will leverage InTouch Health's virtual care software platform, Solo, to power the virtual health program to connect patients to clinicians via RediClinic Expresskiosks located in Rite Aid stores. Patients will be able to speak with RediClinic clinicians directly via a secure, two-way high-definition audio/video connection.
Medical visits in a RediClinic Express, with the help of trained medical assistants, utilize the same diagnostic equipment used during face-to-face examinations, such as an otoscope, dermascope and stethoscope. Ultimately, the advanced technology provides an interactive patient experience where patients are able to see exactly what the clinician is viewing, utilizing diagnostic equipment and point-of-care testing, helping to increase understanding and build trust between the patient and provider.
"Virtual care is another opportunity for Rite Aid to offer patients the convenience of faster service and value-based healthcare," said Jocelyn Konrad, EVP, pharmacy and retail operations, Rite Aid. "We are continually looking for ways to serve our patients differently by utilizing technology and are excited to launch virtual care via our initial RediClinic Express kiosks and look forward to improving healthcare outcomes of our customers in those communities."
The first RediClinic Express kiosks were launched in Drexel Hill and West Chester, Pennsylvania, with additional locations launching in Langhorne, Huntingdon Valley and Narberth, Pennsylvania. These locations will initially offer high-quality, value-based medical care for illnesses including flu, strep, urinary complaints and preventive and wellness visits, such as travel healthy consultations for patients 18 months and older.
Patients will have the ability to schedule appointments online, utilize a self-service touchscreen for check-in, or speak with the kiosk's clinical assistant upon arrival for an appointment. Following check-in, patients are escorted to a private kiosk where their vital signs are taken by the clinical assistant and they are asked to fill out a medical questionnaire.
The patient is then matched with a clinician who will review their intake form and medical history from their remote location and then initiate the virtual care visit where the clinician may diagnose the patient and determine the appropriate course of treatment following clinical care guidelines. If patients require a prescription or follow-up care, the clinician will submit the prescription to the patient's pharmacy of choice and, if needed, recommend that the patient visit an appropriate healthcare provider.
Adding telehealth visits as part of Rite Aid’s in-store services is a trend seen at other drug store competitors. Walgreens is working with Microsoft to pilot 12 store-in-store "digital health corners" to sell certain healthcare-related hardware and devices. Walgreens is also teaming up with New York-Presbyterian Hospital to add telemedicine kiosks in some New York City stores. CVS joins the fray with plans to transform 1,500 locations into HealthHUBS, dedicating 20% of the store to health services including new product categories, digital tools and on-demand health kiosks, trusted advice and personalized care.
"The retail pharmacy is becoming an important destination within the healthcare ecosystem. RediClinic Express provides an additional point of care to connect the millions of patients who frequent Rite Aid Pharmacies," said Joseph M. DeVivo, CEO of InTouch Health. "We are pleased to power this new service with the full capabilities of our end-to-end software platform, Solo by InTouch. As a result of our collaboration, Rite Aid can easily add new physicians or partner with any of the 400 health systems already on the InTouch Health network to provide any clinical service to Rite Aid's patients."