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Meet the Nurse Executive Behind the Retail Healthcare Revolution

Across healthcare, innovation is transforming where and how care is delivered to patients. As retail healthcare continues to expand, CVS Health nurse executive Angela Patterson is putting the profession at the center of transformative shifts in care delivery.

Meet the Nurse Executive Behind the Retail Healthcare Revolution

Across healthcare, innovation is transforming where and how care is delivered to patients. As retail healthcare continues to expand, CVS Health nurse executive Angela Patterson is putting the profession at the center of transformative shifts in care delivery.
Angela Patterson (far right) and her Health Care Delivery colleagues
Image courtesy of CVS MinuteClinic

Expanding nurse-led care delivery models is an important way to increase patient access and improve outcomes. As retail healthcare with nurses at the center grows, the profession continues to expand their role and impact in community care.

Offering patients convenience and accessibility, retail clinics provide patients with another option for health and wellness services. As fewer Americans have a primary care provider – especially younger Americans and those of minority backgrounds, the importance of retail clinics in the healthcare ecosystem and in advancing health equity efforts is expanding rapidly.

Under the leadership of Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAANP, and the CVS Health Retail Health team, MinuteClinic is a major player in the expansion of retail healthcare. As Vice President and Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer of Retail Health, Patterson has helped grow MinuteClinic’s footprint from several hundred clinics to more than 1,100 locations in 36 states and Washington, D.C. and has increased total patient visits from less than one million to more than 45 million.

Championing Nurse-led Care Delivery

For Patterson, nurses are at the very center of healthcare transformation.

Prior to joining CVS Health, Patterson spent two decades caring for patients – first as a medical/surgical nurse, then family practice nurse practitioner and finally as the clinical director for an urban family medical practice she co-owned.

With this background, she understands the power of the nurses who interact daily with patients, and that dynamic fuels MinuteClinic’s retail clinic expansion into more primary care-enabled offerings.

Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAANP, MinuteClinic
The health care environment is quickly changing, and I have such a strong belief and commitment around nursing. As the keepers of patient stories, a nurse’s voice is incredibly important at the decision-making table. Nurses are uniquely positioned to champion access to safe high-quality care, advance health equity and influence the future direction of health care delivery across our country.
Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAANP, MinuteClinic

Retail health providers service acute and chronic healthcare needs, connect patients with primary care doctors, help access specialists and, increasingly, provide wellness and behavioral health support.

“We’re known for treating acute illnesses and administering vaccines, but we have expanded into a primary care safety net with services for chronic conditions and diagnostic screenings for sleep disorders, depression and even healthy aging,” says Patterson. “A patient may come in with a sore throat, for example, and we find they also have high blood pressure. We support their connections into the broader primary care system within the communities we serve.”

Whether in-person or virtually through MinuteClinic Virtual Care™, this model offers an opportunity to capture patients who otherwise might lack access to quality care. For example, MinuteClinic locations can conduct Department of Transportation physicals, which confirm drivers can safely operate commercial vehicles. For Patterson, this professional safety requirement presents an opportunity.

“This is not just an exam or flu shot,” she says. “This may be the only time this person’s engaging with healthcare – checking blood pressure, doing screenings, checking for tobacco use – and we are embracing the opportunity to address and fill those gaps in care.”

Empowering Nurses with a Seat at the Table

Patterson isn’t just focused on improving the retail healthcare experience for patients, but also for the healthcare providers at the center of MinuteClinic.

“A big piece of my job now is understanding where our workforce preferences have shifted,” says Patterson, who received the 2018 AANP Sharp Cutting Edge Award for her exemplary work in nursing organizational leadership and was inducted in 2019 as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

“It's about modernizing healthcare delivery for the future, listening carefully and ensuring that nurses feel like they have a voice, can contribute fully as individuals know they and their profession are valued within the organization.”

One example is MinuteClinic’s American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence designation, which the organization received in 2019 for its commitment to a healthy work environment where nurses feel empowered and valued.

To achieve the designation, organizations must meet essential standards for a positive nursing practice environment – validated by frontline nursing staff. Criteria include shared decision making, professional development opportunities, and wellbeing resources, among others.

“Nurses are natural innovators,” says Patterson. “Their contributions are an essential part of successfully achieving our strategic imperatives. As we seek to improve the quality of the patient experience and outcomes, nurses need to be positioned to provide feedback, recommendations and input, and we need to modernize to meet our workforce’s preference around work, life, and finding a balance between them.”

group of smiling nurses
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