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Walgreens sharpens focus on patient care

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DEERFIELD, Ill.  —  Walgreens said it is eliminating all task-based metrics for retail pharmacy staff as part of team members’ performance reviews, further enabling the company’s pharmacists to practice at the top of their license while creating a differentiated work environment within its pharmacies nationwide.

“We’re proud to take a strong position in the industry with this measure, one we are taking due to feedback from our pharmacy team members and also as part of our commitment to pharmacy quality and patient care,” said Holly May, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “We’ve continued to make investments to elevate the role of our pharmacists and to foster an environment that enables them to best care for our patients and customers. Coupled with other infrastructure enhancements and technology investments, this allows our pharmacy team members to do the work they love and engage with our patients and communities in the way they were trained.”

The change in approach to talent management also comes as Walgreens said it is laying the groundwork for new areas of pharmacist care, such as testing and treating routine illnesses. Moving forward, pharmacy teams will be evaluated based solely on the behaviors that best support patient care and enhance the patient experience, in line with the company’s core values.

This is the latest action Walgreens said it is taking to care for its team members, building on numerous investments the company has made to address pharmacy staffing as well as to retain and reward pharmacy staff.

In August 2021, Walgreens increased the starting wage for hourly team members and has since taken a number of additional steps, including:

  • Made incremental investments of $190 million dedicated to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in fiscal year 2022, mainly in premium pay and bonuses, with further investments of $265 million for pharmacy staff planned for fiscal year 2023
  • Increased base pay for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and provided additional bonuses
  • Implemented enhancements to the annual merit review process in fiscal year 2022 to provide compensation increases or lump sum payments for Walgreens pharmacists
  • Investments in pharmacy and automation technology, including eight micro-fulfillment centers, helping to significantly reduce prescription fulfillment in stores and giving pharmacy staff more time to provide clinical services and patient consultations

As the most accessible health care providers in thousands of communities, Walgreens said its pharmacists are positioned to help improve patient outcomes and fill critical gaps within the U.S. health care system. The company said it is committed to providing the highest level of care and service to patients and customers, and to continuing to explore new and innovative ways to enhance both the team member and customer experience.


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