WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT There are two key takeaways within the SMARTcare offering, and they both spell opportunity. First, there is the obvious tie-in with over-the-counter recommendations. Second is the scalability of this online counseling tool, because as the number of offerings provided at retail clinics continues to expand, this tool will be able to expand right along with it.
(THE NEWS: CCA to offer members SMARTcare counseling tool. For the full story, click here)
The synergy between retail clinics and pharmacy already has been well established. It’s a convenience play — sure you can take the prescription your nurse practitioner filled out for you somewhere else, but why bother? The pharmacy literally is just a dozen feet away. This tool helps synergize retail clinics with OTC products. After all, one of the appeals to visiting a retail clinic as opposed to your doctor is the relative expense of it all — it’s cheaper to visit the clinic. Similarly, the nonprescription aisles present cost-savings across many illnesses as compared with appropriate prescription remedies. This tool will help clinicians make those recommendations. And it can’t hurt that those OTCs are closer to that clinic than even the pharmacy.
With regard to scalability, the content has been tailored to those conditions that most often present in a retail clinic setting — upper respiratory, otits media, pink eye, etc. But it’s an online tool, so should those top conditions change, or even the role the clinician plays in the delivery of health care change, SMARTcare will be able to incorporate those changes practically in real time.