Swedish

Swedish Cherry Hill Launches Innovative Employee Commute Program: Caregiver Commute

Last October, Swedish launched Caregiver Commute at the Cherry Hill campus. This innovative employee transportation program is designed to break down barriers to using alternative commuting options and make it easier for employees to make this choice. What makes this program unique is its ability to compile multiple transportation sources in order to connect individuals to the resources that meet their specific transportation needs. Caregiver Commute provides Swedish with a variety of tools and program flexibility that helps encourage employee participation through a positive, personalized experience.

Key program features include:

  • An online commuter hub that provides a “one stop” shop for all information regarding an individual’s transportation needs anywhere there is internet access.
  • Personalized trip planning services to help find the perfect transportation option to fit individual commuting needs.
  • Self-service ride matching that lets employees connect with fellow caregivers to find a ride to and from work.
  • Enhanced communication that includes increased transparency of individual commute cost associated with driving alone.

Whether our caregivers are interested in riding public transit, finding a vanpool or carpool partner, walking, or biking, Caregiver Commute is there to help them choose commute options that support a vibrant and healthy neighborhood.

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Swedish Retail Pharmacies Closing

As a cost cutting measure, as previously reported, Providence/St. Joseph’s Swedish brand is closing all of their retail pharmacies.  Cherry Hill's last day is December 30th, First Hill and the Swedish Orthopedic Institute locations will close on January 3rd.  At the Squire Park Board Meeting the first week of this month Swedish reported that they remain hopeful that a retail partner will choose to open on the First Hill campus but no agreements have been reached.  There is no such hope for a deal covering the Cherry Hill campus.
 
Employees at Swedish have stated that customers will be able to fill and refill prescriptions at any Walgreens location but how and when this transfer will occur is not clear.  Despite promises by Swedish to both notify customers by mail and posted signage at the pharmacies, as of this writing, they have failed to do so.  We are hearing that this delay in notifications may be to facilitate selling of customer’s information/accounts to Wallgreens.
 
Concerns over what this means for continuity of care, charity care and discharge prescriptions for specialty drugs also remain unaddressed.  Swedish has stated that Walgreens will honor the current Swedish pricing but pharmacy workers have stated that is only for insured customer’s co-pays and not for self-pay customers.
 
Retail pharmacies at other Providence/St. Joseph’s locations will remain open.
 
Update: Failure to Directly Notify those Impacted. (1/2/2017)
The only customer notifications that Swedish as made are signs posted at the pharmacies in late December and a single notice posted in the public notice section of the Seattle Times.  A spokesperson for Swedish committed to letters being mailed the first week of December, but that same spokesperson confirmed last week those had not been sent.  At this point their is little expectation that Swedish will make any additional efforts. 
 
Early in this process it became clear that Swedish was looking at this has a source of revenue.  They made the conscious decision to take what their customers and patients considered personal and private medical information and turn it into a marketable asset to be sold and turned into cash.
 
Update: Trust and Privacy Breaches (1/4/2017) 
Post closing, we have been hearing about issues with customer profiles being incomplete or worse corrupted and in at least one case merged.
 
In one case, a customer with a chronic disease requiring a dozen prescription drugs, only had four of them in his Walgreens profile.  After the issue was escalated to Swedish and reported “fixed” by them; The profile only contained two drugs!  That same customer made a single call into a Capitol Hill Walgreens for refills.  After receiving notification from Walgreens that they were ready for pickup, they went to the store only to be told there was nothing to be picked up.  Further research showed that one drug was at a Ballard location and the other was at the 23rd & Jackson store, again this from a single refill request!
 
Another customer, again with a chronic condition requiring careful management, only had two of their 8 prescriptions transferred.  This customer also found that their profile had been merged with another Swedish patient, they were able to view personal information about the other patient.  They contacted the other patient who was understandably upset that they had not been informed their information had been sold and even more so that their information being exposed and their privacy breached.
 
Perhaps most disappointingly of all is Swedish denied any responsibility for the above issues.  Instead placing 100% of the blame on Walgreens and their employees saying that they did not know how to use their computers to look up profiles and prescriptions.
 
Are we do assume these are yet another example of Swedish’s “Extraordinary Care.  Extraordinary Caring.” in action?  It is understandable that Providence/St. Joseph’s and Swedish have to mange their business and even make unpopular decisions from time to time but there is no excuse for a failure to do so in a respectful and responsible manner.  Their failure to inform and communicate with the community and those impacted is unacceptable.  We expect better.

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Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Plan Help Available

From now until 1/31/2017, Swedish is offering one-on-one appointments for community members with questions or needing assistance with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  With all the current uncertainty, as to what is next for the ACA, this could be your last opportunity to be grandfathered for coverage if there is, as expected, a phase out of the plan over the next 2-3 years. Call (206) 386-6996for details.

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