Retail clinics are a convenient way for patients to visit a walk-in health care clinic. These clinics are located inside retail stores such as supermarkets and department stores. They are sometimes referred to as convenient care clinics. These clinics offer benefits similar to that offered by traditional clinics. They are usually staffed by nurses and physician assistants. Retail clinics provide medical services such as treatment for flu, cold, dehydration, fever, cough, diagnostic services, vaccination, laboratory tests, physiotherapy, and treatment for injuries.
The first retail clinic was opened in 2001 in Minnesota. Retail clinics are experiencing a commendable growth due to patient preference for convenient care options, cost effectiveness, easy accessibility, and multiple services offered. Furthermore, factors contributing to the growth of this market are increase in shortage of primary care physician, growth in health care expenditures, and rise in incidence rate of communicable diseases.
Also, several retail clinics are providing treatment and management for chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol disorders. This factor is likely to propel the market growth during the forecast period. However, retail clinics are a secondary choice for many patients, which limits customer volume in these clinics. Low patient population visiting retail clinics and regulations in some countries are impacting the growth of the retail clinics market.
The retail clinics market can be segmented on the basis of location, types of suppliers, and geography. Based on location, retail clinics are further segmented into stores, malls, and other retail locations. Geographically, this market is further divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East Asia and Africa. North America accounted for a significant growth rate due to factors such as large population base turning toward convenience care, adoption of electronic medical and chart records, and introduction of digital tools.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 18 million adults suffered from asthma in 2012, which was one of the factors that had driven the growth of the retail clinics market. South East Asia, Middle East, and Latin America are projected to be the potential markets in the near future due to higher adoption rate of retail clinics, rise of disposable income, increase in disease burden, shortage of physicians, and ease of usage. Star Dental Care, a U.S. based institute, is aiming to open up retail dental clinics in India by 2017, which is estimated to enhance the growth of the market in this country.
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Major players operating in the retail clinics market include Kroger, Rite Aid, Doctors Care, Clear Balance, CVS Health’s MinuteClinic, NEXtCARE, RediClinic, Target Brands, Inc., The Little Clinic, U.S. HealthWorks, Inc., Urgent Care MSO, LLC, and Walgreen Co. Growth of retail clinics and the companies are related to initiatives aimed at patient’s satisfaction. With growing experience, companies are expanding their services and experiment with new methods such as telemedicine integration, point-of-care technologies, and offering new services. For example, Minute Clinic (CVS) launched a digital tool in May 2016 which helped patients to estimate the wait time at several locations.