Retail health clinics have been a growing trend since they started to appear in large box stores and shopping malls around 2000. Their presence has filled a need for patients, health plans, and providers alike. In this regard, let's talk about why retail health clinics are a growing trend.
Meeting Health Consumer Expectations
Retail clinics are where the health consumer experience often takes place. This experience is shaped by three main variables:
Health consumers use retail clinics because they offer these three benefits. Helping health consumers save money, come in at their convenience, and get their health issues resolved or assessed, are the main reasons retail clinics have grown.
In an effort to meet health consumer expectations, healthcare plans and providers are offering more flexibility and options for members and patients (virtual and in-home visits as well).
An article on Health Leaders, called: "What's Next for Retail Healthcare?", written by Debra Shute on September 29th, 2017, explains:
"Facing the undeniable popularity of various forms of convenience care, healthcare systems have increasingly gotten into the retail game..."
Validating this trend, an article found on Gensler, called: "Retail Health, Retail Medicine and the New Healthcare Experience", explains:
"As with most successful retailers, the experience that healthcare providers create for patients – from online information to the design of in-person engagement – can have significant impact on the ability to attract and cultivate client relationships."
Retail health clinics are meeting consumer expectations by offering services in a retail setting and with a retail mindset. This is creating an experience health consumers appreciate and many times prefer over a conventional visit.
Optimizing Care Outcomes for Health Plans
Every effort to assess and screen members should be welcomed by health plans, as this works to prevent health issues and reduce costs. Retail health clinics are perfect for conducting comprehensive health risk assessments, labs and ancillary services, and screenings.
Retail clinics also attract a wider population of members, increasing membership engagement and visibility with high-risk members. Because retail clinics are located in places where members may shop anyway, they'll be more likely to stop by at their convenience.
With a focus on preventing costly outcomes, health plans can offer their members the option of going to a retail health clinic, which will increase engagement and bring valuable data for prevention and risk stratification.
Adopting the Retail Mindset
Essentially, retail health clinics have grown from 1,200 to 2,800 from 2010 to 2017, in response to the failings of conventional healthcare processes. As cloud and mobile computing, mHealth technologies, and younger tech-savvy generations begin to become the norm in healthcare, solutions like retail health clinics will continue to be a growing trend.
Healthcare in the future will cater to the retail mindset of healthcare consumers, in an effort to meet their growing expectations, drive engagement, reduce costs, and improve care outcomes overall. Retail health clinics are the main touch-point for providers and health plans to use in this effort.
With a projected "50% growth expected in clinics in the next 5 years", according to a Gensler infographic, and the growing adoption of the retail medicine mindset, providers and health plans will benefit by offering retail health clinics as part of their services.
Reducing costs, gathering valuable data, and increasing member engagement are all good reasons to offer retail health clinics. The cost-savings, convenience, and practicality of retail clinics are why health consumers have responded so well to them.
MedXM understands how beneficial retail clinics are, which is why we offer our clients access to a nationwide network of healthcare professionals at our MedXM Retail Clinics. To learn more about our services please contact us today.