Signs still point to growth for retail health clinics
A new Kalorama Information report found that most patients — 91% — who had used a retail clinic were either satisfied or very satisfied with their visit.
The findings are in line with prior studies, which have long been reported by Drug Store News, and are yet further evidence that retail clinics are playing a vital role in the U.S. healthcare system.
It also is important to note that, according to the study, patients are not turning to retail-based health clinics simply to save money. Yes, the clinics are cost-effective, but it is accessibility, convenience and high-quality care that is truly winning over patients.
The news comes just one week after retail clinic operator Take Care Clinics, which is owned by Walgreens, announced that it is expanding the scope of services within its 300-plus clinics to include management for such chronic conditions as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma, as well as additional preventive health services.
Expect this increasing shift to chronic care services to mean an even quicker ramp up in retail clinics throughout the country.
Meanwhile, South Carolina state Department of Health and Human Services director Tony Keck recently toured a MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C. The visit was especially important given that Keck helped initiate a plan to include MinuteClinic as a provider of care in order to increase access for Medicaid recipients and to make South Carolina a model in retail health; MinuteClinic accepts all South Carolina Medicaid plans.
The bottom line is that all signs continue to point to growth for retail-based health clinics. One can bet that there’s more to come.
Motley Fool: New metric to measure store productivity?
NEW YORK — There may be a new metric to track retail success or failure, according to a Motley Fool article posted Wednesday — employees per thousand square feet. The metric helps draw a correlation between service and sales productivity.
Fool author Jacob Roche observed that while Walmart has increased its total square footage by 23% between 2007 and 2012, the company only grew its workforce by 5% in that timespan. "As a result, stores are having trouble keeping shelves stocked and customers are taking their business elsewhere," he wrote.
In 2012, Walmart fielded 2.1 employees for every 1,000 square feet. Another retailer, Safeway, had 2.2 employees per 1,000 square feet. Roche compared those numbers to Whole Foods, which predicates its business on a higher level of customer service and fields 5.7 employees per 1,000 square feet.
CVS/pharmacy provides easy access to mobile app via free smartphone offer
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy on Friday announced that up to 1 million free smartphones will be offered to eligible customers, allowing easy access to its convenient mobile app. Upon receipt of the phone, consumers will receive a text message prompt to download the CVS Mobile app to provide the convenience of CVS/pharmacy stores and pharmacy services at their fingertips so they can save time and money.
The free smartphone offer is an online-only promotion and is running now at CVS.com/smartphone. The offer is open to any consumer who is eligible to upgrade their phone per their current mobile service provider, or any consumer who signs up for a new line of service with a new provider.
To participate in the promotion, consumers looking for a new smartphone or who are eligible for a device upgrade with their current mobile service provider can visit CVS.com/smartphone, where they can choose from a variety of Android smartphones. Once consumers select a phone, and sign on for a new or upgrade to a two-year contract, the phone will be shipped directly to them.
"Over the past year we have seen a substantial increase in the number of our CVS/pharmacy customers using mobile devices to refill prescriptions, shop and manage their ExtraCare savings and rewards," stated Brian Tilzer, SVP and chief digital officer for CVS/pharmacy. "This complimentary offer makes the CVS Mobile app even more accessible to our customers who have yet to experience its capabilities."
In a recent consumer survey of retail apps by Xtreme Labs, the CVS Mobile app was top-rated for Android supported mobile devices, the company stated. The app extends the in-store shopping and pharmacy experience to customers wherever they are, at any time. Through the free smartphone offer, consumers will be able to experience the app and its features, including the My Mobile Card feature, which allows customers to scan and save their ExtraCare card information within the app. The app also gives shoppers the ability to place photo print orders from their smartphone camera roll for same-day pick up, using the built-in GPS locator to find a nearby CVS/pharmacy. In addition, customers can now access a new Pill Identifier tool to check for drug interactions and identify pills by shape, color and imprint. With the Scan Your Refill feature, users can scan their prescription barcodes to easily refill their prescriptions.