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

who had used work-based clinics -- said they were only "somewhat" or "not at all" satisfied.

About three-quarters of those who had used a clinic were covered by their insurance when they used the service.

The online survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults was conducted in early December.

Convenience was key to consumers opting for retail clinic care. The most frequent reasons cited for using either a retail or work-based clinic was that the clinics didn't require an appointment, had a convenient location, involved short waiting times, had accessible hours, and were affordable and/or accepting of the person's particular insurance.

"It's really that combination of quality, accessibility and affordability that's driven the growth of these clinics and the utilization of the clinics," said Web Golinkin, board president of the Convenient Care Association and CEO of RediClinic, which provides health care clinics at H-E-B grocery stores.

Also contributing to the growth is a continuing shortage of primary care physicians, added Jaeger.

Patricia McGaffigan, R.N., interim president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, said: "The proliferation of these clinics is helping to absorb a lot of health care issues. Many [health-related] episodes can, in fact, be treated and treated very well by folks who are trained and who are following evidence-based guidelines."

There is accreditation for the clinics, she added, although a person's primary care doctor should always be kept apprised of any visits to retail or workplace clinics.

The clinics also have the capability of taking care of marginal health issues that many people have inappropriately taken to emergency departments.

"With just over a quarter of all adults using either retail clinics or work-based clinics, they are now treating many millions of patients, many of whom might otherwise go to doctors' offices, and some of whom might go to hospital emergency rooms,
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