PHARMACY

Survey: Retail clinic visits drive in-store purchases

BY David Salazar

A new survey from data science firm Civis Analytics takes a look at the impact of retail clinic patients on retail sales and patient satisfaction. The survey found that 68% of patients made an in-store purchase during the same trip. Additionally, 53% of clinic patients subsequently visited the store to make a purchase.

Additionally, the survey highlighted the main reasons patients visit a retail clinic — typically for one-off needs. Roughly 31% go for vaccinations and 40% visit for minor illness or injuries. And while these suggest that the clinics aren’t looked to as a replacement for primary care, 25% of respondents said they visited an in-store clinic because of difficulty making appointments with their primary care provider. Price accompanied convenience as a factor, with 15% of respondents saying they visited because of price, with insured and uninsured patients using them equally.

Indeed, when it comes to the convenience, clinics typically deliver, as 2-in-3 patients were seen immediately or waited less than 15 minutes, and 90.3% patients rated their experience as good, very good or excellent. Roughly 82% said they would visit a retail clinic in the future.

“Today, people seeking healthcare have more options for where to get it, and providers have to appeal to them not only as patients but as consumers as well,” said Crystal Son, healthcare analytics lead at Civis Analytics. “Patients want good medical care, but they also value convenience and want healthcare to meet them where they are, rather than cause disruption to their daily lives. Retail clinics are in a good position to meet both of these desires.”

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PHARMACY

Sav-Mor offers 24/7 physician access with My T Health Plus

BY David Salazar

Sav-Mor Pharmacy Services is bringing a new telehealth program to 33 of its pharmacies in southeastern Michigan. The Southfield, Mich.-based chain has partnered with My T Health Plus, which will allow patients 24/7 year-round virtual physician visits for the monthly price of $14.99.

The company said the service offers access to a physician who can diagnose conditions, provide medical advice and prescribe medications over the phone when necessary, without charging a consultation fee. Sav-Mor noted that it can help patients avoid potentially costly urgent care or emergency room visits for non-emergency needs.

“Our customers are our family, so we are committed to helping them get the resources they need as quickly as possible,” said Yvonne Gallagher, President, Sav-Mor Pharmacy Services. “By teaming up with My T Health Plus, we’re building a pharmacy experience that exceeds expectations by adding a service that provides 24/7/365 access to a physician.”

Sav-Mor said it has My T Health Plus brochures in-store at all locations in Michigan, as well as online.

“Now more than ever, consumers want access to telehealth as an alternative to traditional in-person visits to the doctor’s office,” said Bob Hoeffner, senior vice president of business development for My T Health Plus. “The My T Health Plus program allows Sav-Mor customers to access these valuable and innovative services, which are easy-to-use and highly affordable.”

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PHARMACY

Hy-Vee expands clinic offerings, mobile tours

BY Mark Hamstra

Hy-Vee is expanding the health clinic operations in its stores, both in terms of the size of the clinics and the number of clinics it offers.

“It’s been a good model for us, and it’s growing,” said Aaron Wiese, vice president of HealthMarkets and health and wellness strategy at Hy-Vee.

The company currently hosts 70 such clinics in its stores — all operated by local healthcare providers — and its goal is to have 100 by the middle of 2019, Wiese said. The company is incorporating clinics into most of its new stores, and carving out space in older stores for clinics as they are remodeled.

Hy-Vee also takes its clinics on the road. Since launching its Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile program in 2013, the company has converted nine Winnebago RVs into mobile clinics, each with two exam rooms offering biometric screenings, flu vaccinations, nutritional information, cooking demonstrations, food samplings and other services. The mobile units, staffed with Hy-Vee dietitians and pharmacists, travel to health fairs, festivals, school events and other community gatherings.

“It’s a diagnostic mobile clinic on wheels,” Wiese said. “It’s been a great asset for us.”
This year, Hy-Vee focused on bringing the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile clinics to more underserved areas, and tying them back to the stores thematically. In February, for example, the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile clinics conducted a heart health tour throughout the retailer’s eight-state region, offering free biometric screenings to consumers who might not otherwise have had access to such services. The mobile clinics distributed samples of heart healthy products and coupons to use in-store, where it featured displays of related products.

“Our CPG partners helped fund the screenings, enabling our customers to get a free screening and improve their awareness of heart health and heart healthy foods,” Wiese said.
Hy-Vee also did a similar tour focused on men’s health in June and a diabetes-themed tour is scheduled for November.

In total, Hy-Vee is doubling the number of events and screenings this year via its Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles, compared with a year ago.

“We operate in some very rural markets, and in a lot of our markets, Hy-Vee is one of the only places where people are going to find these services,” Wiese said.

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