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Sep 12

3 Ways Practices Can Adapt to a World with Retail Care Sites

The healthcare industry has been evolving in many ways, and new care sites are one of the most prominent. Patients are now faced with a variety of options when seeking care, and one that has become increasingly popular is the retail clinic. This leaves many practices wondering just what role these care sites play and how to co-exist with this new care option.

What role do retail care sites play in healthcare?

Retail clinics, located in grocery stores, pharmacies, and “big box” stores, offer walk-in availability, evening and weekend hours, and reduced wait times for patients needing care for a limited range of conditions, typically minor, acute illnesses or injuries. These clinics also frequently offer vaccinations and other minor preventive care.

Retail care sites are most often staffed by physician assistants or nurse practitioners. Often retail care sites bridge the gap between traditional medical practices and emergency departments. Additionally, many young adults without a regular PCP utilize retail clinics for their healthcare needs.

3 Ways Practices Can Adapt to Co-Exist with Retail Care

While retail clinics can be disruptive to the healthcare industry as we’ve known it, that disruption doesn’t have to be negative. Traditional practices can take steps to co-exist with retail care, even seeing it as an advantage. Here are three ways to adapt to co-exist with retail care:

  1. Prioritize patient convenience. One of the biggest draws of retail clinics is the extended hours with walk-in availability. If you want to draw your patients into your practice as opposed to the retail clinic when they fall ill, extend office hours or offer walk-in hours if possible. Another way to prioritize patient convenience is to utilize telehealth whenever possible. This increases efficiency for you while also allowing your patients to be seen with minimal disruption to their schedule.
  2. Create a referral relationship with your local retail clinic. Whether you’re able to increase convenient options for your patients or not, there are likely still to be times when a retail clinic may be the most viable option. With this in mind, meet with your local clinic and agree to refer your patients to that clinic in exchange for a relationship that allows you to receive your patients’ records. The purpose of this is to create continuity of care and ensure that you maintain a complete record for your patients.
  3. Improve communication between patients and providers. One of the main concerns with patients becoming too reliant on retail clinics as a point of care is that it can deteriorate the relationship between patients and providers, potentially impacting health outcomes in a negative way. To combat this, implement secure messaging or two-way texting to enable patients to reach their providers with questions. Patient reminders are also a good way for providers to keep patients up to date with preventive care and other proactive health measures that can lead to positive outcomes.

While many practices have concerns regarding retail clinics and how they may impact their practice, with a perspective change and some strategic planning, it’s possible to co-exist alongside these care sites in a way that is mutually beneficial and provides increased care opportunities for your patients.

To learn more about the solutions that Henry Schein MicroMD has to offer that can help with this collaborative relationship, such as two-way texting and patient reminders, visit or call 1-800-624-8832.

About the author,
Crystal Stanton

Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.

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