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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Coming to a Walgreens Near You: Diagnostic Testing

Published June 12, 2012 8:38 AM by Valerie Newitt

The big drugstore chains have already entered the domains of convenience grocery stores, photo and passport services, and even primary care clinics. So it's no surprise that they've just launched selected point-of-care diagnostic testing as well.

Walgreens' Take Care Clinics are now offering three new diagnostic tests and administrative physicals. According to a news release from Business Wire, the launch of these new services is based on input from patients, managed care organizations and health care providers on ways to help prevent the progression of disease and use the most appropriate point of care.

New point of care tests now available at Take Care Clinics include:

  • A1C test - A blood test used to monitor type 1 and 2 diabetes and to gauge a patient's success in managing the disease.
  • Microalbumin test - A urine test often recommended for people with diabetes and high blood pressure to detect possible kidney damage or disease.
  • Fecal occult blood test - A lab test which can help identify hidden blood in the stool which could be an indicator of colon cancer or polyps in the colon.

"By providing convenient access to common diagnostic tests in Take Care Clinics we can assist primary care providers and others in the health care system in early detection, diagnosing, managing and ultimately helping to prevent disease," said Sandra Festa Ryan, RN, MSN, CPNP, FAANP and chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. "By making these tests more accessible to patients, our clinics can play an important role in preventing unchecked disease progression and overuse of more costly emergency rooms."

Take Care Clinics are located at more than 360 Walgreens drugstores across the country and offer walk-in and appointment availability. Board-certified family nurse practitioners and physician assistants treat patients 18 months and older for common illnesses, offer preventive services and are licensed to write prescriptions that can be filled at the patient's pharmacy of choice.

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