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MinuteClinic Becomes First Retail Clinic Provider to Launch Partnership with National Patient Safety Foundation for Ask Me 3(TM) Program
Agreement Promotes Health Literacy and Patient/Provider Communication to Improve Health Outcomes

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

MinuteClinic, the pioneer and largest provider of retail-based medical clinics in the United States, has entered into an agreement with the National Patient Safety Foundation to become the nation's first retail clinic provider to implement the Ask Me 3 health literacy program.

MinuteClinic will launch the program in early 2011 in its approximately 500 medical clinics located inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in 26 states and the District of Columbia.

"Low health literacy is an emerging public health issue that is broad in scope and can affect any patient regardless of education and reading levels," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., MinuteClinic president and CVS Caremark senior vice president/associate chief medical officer. "Research shows that patients who understand health instructions get well sooner, tend to take their medication regularly and make fewer mistakes with their care. In particular, clear communication helps individuals do a better job of managing chronic health conditions, including those patients we assist with monitoring at MinuteClinic for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and asthma."

Ask Me 3 is a patient education program designed to enhance communication between health care providers and patients in order to improve health outcomes. The program encourages patients to ask and understand the answers to three questions: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this?

"Improving health literacy and the dialogue between patient and provider are essential to safe and appropriate patient care," said Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. "We look forward to working with MinuteClinic to further our shared goal of providing clear and simple information that helps patients become active participants in managing their health and more knowledgeable about the care they need."

Ask Me 3 posters will appear at all MinuteClinic locations nationwide and brochures about the program will be offered to patients when they visit. Each clinic will have a certificate designating it an Ask Me 3 participant.

In addition, MinuteClinic practitioners will receive Ask Me 3 training developed by the non-profit National Patient Safety Foundation.

"Health literacy is the strongest predictor of an individual's health status," said Paulette Thabault, MinuteClinic chief nurse practitioner officer. "This program will provide another tool for our practitioners to help them encourage and empower patients to take ownership of their own health."

About Ask Me 3

Ask Me 3 is an educational program provided by the National Patient Safety Foundation to encourage open communications between patients and health care providers. To learn more about Ask Me 3 and the National Patient Safety Foundation, visit www.npsf.org.

About MinuteClinic

MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail health care centers in the United States in 2000 and is the first provider to establish a national presence, with approximately 500 locations in 26 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient needs, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than 8 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics. MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.

SOURCE MinuteClinic

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