The trend that disrupted healthcare consumerism a decade ago continues to evolve.
In the early-to-mid 2000s, when the first retail clinics emerged and quickly proliferated, traditional healthcare providers raised concerns about quality as well as protecting their market share. In the meantime, the ability to get affordable treatment on the fly for minor illnesses such as coughs and sore throats became a hit with patients.
The majority (91%) of patients who recently used a retail clinic reported that they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their visit, according to an April 17, 2017, retail clinic survey from healthcare market researcher Kalorama Information.
Facing the undeniable popularity of various forms of convenience care, healthcare systems have increasingly gotten into the retail game through partnerships with or creation of store-based clinics, standalone walk-in and urgent care clinics, and supplemental telemedicine services.
While the scope of services and delivery mechanisms continue to evolve, the common denominators of such on-demand healthcare consistently come down to convenience, affordability, and access.
These themes are essential to keep in mind as executives ponder the future of retail healthcare and what it means to their businesses.
Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.