Latest retail clinic study illustrates continued embrace of convenient care clinics
A recent survey found a significant increase in the number of U.S. adults who have visited a retail clinic in recent years. The growth is attributed to a rise in the number of clinics nationwide, as well as patients’ positive response to the convenience and lower cost of such clinic locations.
The findings come as little surprise and one should expect to see increased usage going forward. Why? Because health care is becoming increasingly consumer-centric as patients not only battle rising health care costs but also a growing shortage of primary care physicians. Patients want — need — convenient, high-quality health care services that are also cost effective. Convenient care clinics are increasingly illustrating the important role they play within the U.S. healthcare system.
According to numbers provided by the Convenient Care Association, as few as 2% of medical students coming out of U.S. medical schools intend to pursue a career in general primary care. And the Department of Health and Human Services, reports that nearly 67 million people in the United States live in a primacy care shortage area. And here’s another alarming stat: It is estimated that the primary care physician shortage will reach about 60,000 by 2015.
Now factor in the fact that some 30 million Americans will gain health insurance in 2014 due to healthcare reform — further straining the already overloaded healthcare system.
It should also be noted that on the heels of the release of the survey results, CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic announced yet another clinical affiliation to add to its roster: New Jersey-based Virtua. Under this partnership, Virtua physicians will serve as medical directors at clinics in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties, while the two companies collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives.
The bottom line is that patients, as well as third-party payors and many others within the medical community, are increasingly realizing the vital role that retail-based health clinics, and the nurse practitioners working in those clinics, play in the U.S. healthcare system.
It is being illustrated by studies such as this one, the strides that are being made to ensure that nurse practitioners can practice to their fullest potential and the fact that The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners will now merge to serve as one powerful voice for nurse practitioners.
Bayer introduces Resultix tick spray for cats and dogs
SHAWNEE, Kan. — Bayer HealthCare’s animal-health division has introduced a new spray for killing ticks in cats and dogs, the company said.
The company debuted Resultix at the opening of BarkWorld Expo, a pet social media conference in Atlanta that took place on Oct. 26.
The spray is designed to dissolve the outer wax layer that covers the tick’s cuticle, its hard shell, resulting in the parasite’s uncontrollable water loss and death within three hours.
"A tick can cause serious problems for pets, and dealing with tick infestations can be stressful for both pet owners and their pets," Bayer HealthCare Animal Health Division North America director of veterinary technical services Cristiano von Simson said. "Resultix provides a convenient and easy-to-apply alternative to traditional tick removal for pet owners and veterinarians who spot one or more ticks on a dog or cat."
Walgreens’ 8,000th store set among Hollywood’s stars
It’s only fitting that Walgreens placed its 8,000th store opening among the stars of Hollywood. It’s not only a stellar achievement in and of itself, but the company’s latest flagship store — and the first one on the West Coast — continues to emphasize Walgreens’ out-of-this-world approach to drug store retailing.
Except you can’t really call it drug store retailing, anymore. Not really. Because the other reason Hollywood is an appropriate backdrop to Walgreens’ West Coast flagship is the fact that Walgreens has effectively transformed its big-box stage into a retail theater where each new grand location portrays a little of that flair in each new urban setting. That was evident in its second flagship store along Broadway in New York with its museum chronologically picturing those who have been honored in the Canyon of Heroes. And it’s also evident in the second placement of a Walgreens’ flagship store in Chicago.
Because even as this Los Angeles location is 8,000 and the big retail star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there’s still a buzz around what Walgreens has done with its Bucktown store back home in Chicago. Walgreens transformed the historic Noel State Bank building, built in 1919 and designed by Gardner Coughlen in a neo-classical style. The location has hosted a number of banks over the years — the original bank had been closed following the Great Depression. But now local Chicago officials are banking on Walgreens to help revitalize the urban neighborhood.
There is a big picture thought process behind each of these new flagship iterations. No two are the same. And the only other brightly-colored common thread linking each of the locations — beyond the recurring theme of "local" — is that big picture thought behind each new store — to be customers’ first choice for health and daily living. "It’s about being different from everything else out there in the market; it’s about giving customers every imaginable option for how they could shop your brand, and then imagining a few more; it’s about making customers rethink how they shop the drug store and what they shop it for," wrote editor-in-chief Rob Eder out of an exclusive interview with Walgreens’ flagship director Joe Magnacca.
Walgreens operates flagship stores in New York, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Chicago and now Los Angeles. One in Boston is scheduled to open in the spring. And no matter where Walgreens decides to place its next flagship center, one thing is for sure — it’s going to make a new city of health and beauty consumers rethink what defines a retail pharmacy in the 21st century.