Retail Clinics Catch On in U.S.
Need for Vaccinations, Treatment for Simple Ailments Prompt Trips to Retail Clinics
WebMD News Archive
Why Do People Go to Retail Clinics?
The study found that 90% of retail clinic trips are for 10 common medical conditions that include:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Pharyngitis (throat infection)
- Middle ear infection
- Swimmer's ear
- Urinary tract infections
- Screening lab tests or to have blood pressure checked
Of those folks 65 years old or older who visit retail clinics, 74% of those visits were to get immunizations.
In background information presented with the findings, researchers write that more retail clinics are springing up all over the country.
Researchers cite studies that suggest that the number of clinics will explode from the current 450 to 6,000 in the next five years.
There has been some controversy since the clinics were launched, with concerns about quality of care, less chances for primary care doctors to take care of chronic medical conditions and preventive care, disruption of the relationship that a patient has with his/her primary care doctor, and coordination of patient care.
"Future studies should investigate quality, the likelihood that patients are getting needed preventive and follow-up care," Mehrotra says.
He adds, "There is a lot of curiosity and questions about retail health clinics because they are a new way of providing care in a system of health that has seen little change over the past 50 years in how care is delivered."