The Advantages of the MinuteClinic

The MinuteClinics you can find in CVS locations all over the country are becoming more and more prevalent. As of March 2011, there are 560 sites in 26 states and most of these are in CVS stores.

Many people are utilizing the list of advantages MinuteClinics have to offer and that’s why we will continue to see them popping up in our hometowns.

MinuteClinics offer all the basic medical services that physician and urgent care facilities provide like: strep throat diagnosis and treatment, vaccinations, blood tests, asthma and blood pressure monitoring. They even offer lab tests with instant results and patient education in regards to diabetes, high cholestoral and blood pressure, or asthma.

You can go into a MinuteClinic and see either a trained nurse practitioner or physician assistant any day of the week without having to set up an appointment. Most clinics are open the same hours as the CVS location they are a part of. This makes treating an easily curable illness convenient and simple.

MinuteClinics are also becoming highly used because of the low costs they provide their patients with. The clinics cost anywhere from 40-80% less than other urgent care sites, physician offices, and emergency rooms. Though some traditionalists argue that patients prefer a personal relationship with their doctors over the retail physician approach, the Wall Street Journal noted that: “insurers, lab-testing companies, and hospitals have reported a decline in patient visits, drug prescriptions, and procedures compared to 2007.”

The decline in other patient visitations is due to the MinuteClinic’s convenient locations, inexpensive service costs, immediate service, and flexible hours. Their expansion is collousal with plans to add 100 sites a year over the next 5 years, according to the MinuteClinic’s President Andrew Sussman. He says this will amount to 1000 new locations. The MinuteClinic as seen 9 million patients since it started in 2000 as the QuickMedx (before CVS purchased it in 2006). Sussman says that 8 million of those visits were within the past 4 years alone. He also states that MinuteClinics’ usage has grown by 49% since 2009 and he expects to see that rise even more in future years.

Since NP’s and PA’s are the main operators at MinuteClinics, it’s speculated that an increase of them in the workforce will also be necessary. They provide customers with the health screenings, immunizations, and advice on minor ailments that physician’s in physician care and urgent care facilities would but for fixed rate costs. They also provide their patients with wellness services like: sports and camp physicals, smoking cessations, and TB tests. The MinuteClinic is the first retail health provider to have received accreditation by the Joint Commission. In order to receive this sort of accreditation, employees and the technology they use must pass intensive and challenging operational surveys.

MinuteClinics are able to keep patient costs down because they use technology such as electronic kiosks to file patient data instead of hiring a human receptionist to deal with the patient’s information. They also use a method of electronic medical recording so there’s no need to hire someone to take care of the chart filing.

Minute clinics are definitely going to be a huge part of future healthcare methods in this country. They are convenient, inexpensive, and just as helpful as other methods of healthcare we are exposed to.

Ty is an active researcher of health advancements in America and he writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.

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