Remember when you woke up and found yourself coughing? Or tripped and sprained your ankle or possibly broke your wrist to stop your fall? To treat either, you’d either schedule to see your doctor at their office or be rushed to the ER.
Now thanks to local retail medical clinics and urgent care centers, people have more choices in the treatment of their health. While these alternatives may not be the same as more traditional health establishments, familiar features found in them like medical tablets (learn more) show they’re just as dedicated to patient wellbeing and health.
Retail Medical Clinics
Retail healthcare is a form of healthcare service. Like the name suggests, retail medical clinics, or simply retail clinics, are typically located within retail stores. You can also find them in supermarket and pharmacy chains. “Convenient care clinics” and “nurse-in-a-box” are a couple of other names they may be found under.
Retail medical clinics provide walk-in service for patients with minor medical ailments. On-site staff, which consists primarily of physician assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP), and – rarely – a medical doctor, treat cold symptoms, sprains and strains, and headaches to name a few.
Some retailer medical clinics may be allowed to perform certain kinds of screening tests. Testing for COVID-19 is the most recent example. Vaccinations may also be allowed. Retail clinics played a big role in administering the COVID vaccine to populations during the pandemic.
Physical therapy and even telehealth services may be available at select retail clinics.
MinuteClinic, Target Clinics, and RediClinics are three well-known US-based retail clinics.
Urgent Care Centers
At first glance, an urgent care center, or UCC, is similar to retail clinics. Many are located at or near retail outlets. They offer medical treatment for walk-in patients for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. Staffing is primarily by PAs, NPs, and registered nurses.
The differences, though, are significant. Urgent cares are aimed at patients who have a time-sensitive – but still non-emergency – medical issue. A patient who is vomiting is a good example that needs treatment at an urgent care. Treatment for insect bites and stings, or a mild burn, are other examples. Some UCCs may treat simple broken bones and fractures as well.
Well-known urgent care chains based in the US include Concentra, MedPost, and U.S. Healthworks.
Equipping Retail Clinics and Urgent Care
Potential patients shouldn’t be concerned about the quality of retail medical clinics and urgent care centers. This extends to their equipment, much of it similar to those found in medical offices, clinics, and hospitals. This is unsurprising because they’re addressing patients and their health concerns, and adhere to the high standards to do so. Moreover, utilizing services like retail pharmacy outsourcing/support from providers such as ProxsysRx (https://www.proxsysrx.com/) can further enhance the seamless integration of medication management and delivery within these healthcare settings.
The medical tablet mentioned earlier in the article, for example, will most likely be medical grade. This means it’s been built from the beginning to be safe for near-patient use. It won’t interfere with the operation of a medical device like an X-ray machine, which are found in certain centers.
Tablets will be in constant use during business hours. This means they’ll require lots of wipe downs and cleanings by janitorial services. Features like fanless design and IP65 rated seal shield the interior of the tablet from cleaning liquids and chemicals. Industrial grade parts also keep it durable to deal with the bumps, scraps, and all-too-often drops while in use.
Retail clinics and urgent cares create and maintain electronic health and medical records (EHR, EMR respectively) of their patients. This is especially true for those run by healthcare organizations like Kaiser Permanente, which runs the Target Clinics. This makes it important their medical tablets protect patients’ privacy. Security features like RFID reader and Imprivata Single Sign On can verify who’s accessing the tablet and its records, and make sure they’re authorized to do so. In addition, clinics, hospitals, and medical institutions should consider having Third-Party Liability Recovery for Hospitals. They may also need to partner with Medicare Plan Reimbursement consulting firms to help them with their insurance reimbursement requests.
Modern medicine offers potential patients greater choice on treating their health than in the past. For non-emergencies, they can turn to retail medical clinics or urgent care. Healthcare staff, and equipment found in medical establishments like medical tablets, will be found in both which ensures quality treatment and healthcare.