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MinuteClinic Becomes First Retail Clinic Provider to Launch Partnership with National Patient Safety Foundation for Ask Me 3™ Program
Date:12/20/2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."

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