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Popularity of 'Walk-In' Retail Health Clinics Growing: Poll
Date:1/9/2013

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The popularity of "walk-in" medical clinics located in pharmacies, superstores and workplaces nationwide is increasing rapidly, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.

Twenty-seven percent of all adults surveyed said they have used either walk-in retail clinics (19 percent) or work-based clinics (11 percent) to obtain medical care in the past two years. That's up from just 7 percent in 2008.

"This survey shows a very large increase in the numbers of people using retail clinics over the last few years since earlier surveys, which used slightly different questions," said Harris Poll chairman Humphrey Taylor.

Younger adults were more likely to have used such a facility compared with older adults. Among the respondents, 40 percent of adults aged 25 to 29 had used a retail or work-based clinic, versus only 15 percent of adults aged 65 and older.

This is not surprising, given that older adults tend to have more chronic health problems and such "drop-in" clinics are geared more for acute services, said Kathleen Jaeger, a registered pharmacist and senior vice president of pharmacy care and patient advocacy at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The survey found that people were most likely to visit either a retail or work-based clinic for run-of-the-mill complaints such as colds or flu-like symptoms, minor cuts and wounds, and for routine needs such as flu shots, prescriptions and to check blood pressure or cholesterol.

Fewer respondents indicated willingness to use these clinics for potentially more serious concerns.

Survey respondents who had used such a clinic were generally happy with the care they received, although fewer than half said they were "extremely" or "very" satisfied."

Notable minorities -- 18 percent of those who had used retail clinics and 27 percent of those
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