Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds usage of retail health clinics, worksite clinics on rise

NEW YORK — The use of retail-based health clinics and worksite facilities has increased in recent years, thanks in large part to a combination of quality, accessibility and affordability, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.

The online survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults, which was conducted in early December, found that 27% of all adults surveyed said they have used either walk-in retail clinics (19%) or work-based clinics (11%) to obtain medical care in the past two years. That compares with 7% in 2008.

The survey also found that people were most likely to visit either a retail or work-based clinic for acute ailments such as colds or flu-like symptoms, minor cuts and wounds, and for routine needs such as flu shots, prescriptions and blood-pressure or cholesterol screenings.

According to the survey, respondents who had used such a clinic were generally happy with the care they received.

Patricia McGaffigan, interim president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, was quoted as saying in a HealthDay article on the survey, “The proliferation of these clinics is helping to absorb a lot of healthcare issues. Many [health-related] episodes can, in fact, be treated and treated very well by folks who are trained and who are following evidence-based guidelines.”

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