Retail healthcare refers to a model where healthcare services are delivered in a consumer-friendly setting, like a retail store, rather than the traditional clinical environment. Typically, these are walk-in clinics located within or adjacent to supermarkets, pharmacies, or standalone locations. These clinics aim to provide convenient, accessible, and often less expensive care for minor illnesses, preventative services, and health consultations.
Examples of services that can be found in retail health clinics include:
- Treatment for common illnesses like the flu, colds, and minor infections
- Basic health screenings
- Physicals for sports or employment
- Prescription refills
Why is Retail Healthcare Gaining Popularity?
There are several reasons why retail healthcare is attractive to consumers and to the organizations offering it.
For consumers, it offers convenience and cost-effectiveness because these businesses can offer it at scale. And with the increase in demand because of our aging population, access to these retail clinics is highly desirable.
For organizations offering these services, they see it as a way to capture a piece of the healthcare pie. It’s an industry that is ripe for picking given consumers are fed up with the way they’ve been treated in the past and are looking for something more customer-centric.
In the past, patients have felt like they were at the mercy of their insurance provider and didn’t have much choice. This new model is a refreshing change. Retail clinics typically have a known price list for the services they offer. This transparency, combined with competitive prices, attracts those who might be paying out of pocket or those with high-deductible health plans.
With the advent of electronic medical records and telemedicine, retail clinics can easily integrate with the broader healthcare system and provide consultations without needing extensive on-site resources.
In addition, many retail clinics are located within or near pharmacies. This allows patients to see a healthcare provider and pick up any necessary prescriptions in one trip, providing a seamless experience.
Today’s patients are more proactive about their health and seek services that fit their lifestyles. Retail healthcare offers a consumer-centric model, making it appealing to this demographic.
Retail healthcare is more than just a trend; it’s a reflection of the changing dynamics of the healthcare industry and the needs of the modern patient. As it continues to evolve, it promises to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of patient care, making it more accessible, affordable, and patient-centric. Just like we’ve seen in retail, healthcare providers need to find more ways to reduce friction for their patients and that frequently involves the addition of technology and automated solutions to enhance the patient experience.
Healthcare is at an exciting tipping point as we see projects of multiple sizes emerge across the country with large-scale providers. We recently helped a national optometry organization update 250 offices across the country. We have the expertise to help your organization modernize its network or roll out some new technology on a large scale. That’s what we do. Contact us to discuss the details.