Retail Health Clinics Offer Quick, Quality Service and Opportunity for Integrated Medical Care

Walgreens Retail Location

It’s Saturday night, you’re achy with an intense sore throat, and strep has been going around. Do you tough it out until Monday, when you can get in to see your family doctor? Or, do you take a quick trip to a more readily accessible health clinic at a local retail store to see a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant within the hour?

For many people, access to quick service, quality care and upfront pricing – which often is 30%-80% less expensive than other providers – are key factors that support the rapid growth of retail health clinics.

The first retail-based clinics opened in Minnesota in 2000. Today, there are more than 2,700 such clinics in operation in 44 states and Washington, D.C., who have served up more than 40 million patient visits.

It’s been reported more than half of clinic visits were on weekends or weekday hours when physician offices are closed. It’s also been estimated that up to 20% of emergency department visits for a nonemergency condition could take place at a retail clinic or urgent care center, potentially generating cost savings as high as $4.4 billion annually.

A lot of major healthcare insurance payers are considering or already including retail clinics in their healthcare provider networks, motivating people to opt for these clinics for convenience and quality of care.

The retail health clinics most often are staffed with a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant and can treat minor conditions like strep throat, pink eye, or ear infections, as well as administer vaccinations and flu shots.

And the service is good too. Visits are usually kept to around 15 minutes, and according to a recent Walmart Survey, nearly 90% of the customers were satisfied with retail clinics. These satisfaction levels have been attributed to cost transparency, overriding the conventional benefit of cost efficiency.

Electronic Health Records and the Convenient Care Clinic

Given the uptick in the use of retail health clinics, it’s important to consider how they play into the necessary documentation of a complete electronic health record.

The industry association, Convenient Care Association (CCA), focuses on sharing best practices and common standards of operation for Convenient Care Clinics (CCC)s which include 97% of all retail clinics.

CCCs use electronic health records – with patient approval/request, these records can be shared with their primary care provider to promote continuity of care.

As EHR platforms continue to evolve and there are system changes within the CCC data management platforms, it will be increasingly important to remain compliant with record retention regulations.

That’s where we can help.

HealthData Archiver®, our data management platform, provides a single point of access to historical patient, employee or business data for all types of healthcare organizations. The web-based solution, with its release of information workflows, Single Sign-On integrated clinical views, revenue cycle features and eDiscovery capabilities, provides a significant return on investment for retail health clinics that are changing systems.

The solution consolidates data stores, reduces out-of-production system maintenance costs, mitigates technical risk, complies with record retention mandates, and offers both interoperability and data analytics capabilities.

It’s convenient, cost effective, and as the top data extraction and migration healthcare IT company according to Black Book™ Rankings, we hit the same high notes as the convenient care clinics.

Are you responsible for data management and HIM at a retail health clinic? Do you need support for your long-term data management and record retention strategy?

Let’s connect.

Sep 04 2019

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