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Earache Treatment, Aisle 3: The Rise of Retail Walk-In Clinics Thousands of reta

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For This or a Similar Paper Click To Order NowEarache Treatment, Aisle 3: The Rise of Retail Walk-In Clinics
Thousands of retailers across America will soon feature walk-in clinics to accommodate people who need to shop and want to get a flu shot or have an achy ear inspected on the same shopping trip. Nights, weekends, holidays, or almost any time, consumers with minor medical complaints are already stopping into local store’s walk-in clinics for quick, convenient, affordable care, filling an important gap between getting urgent care at the hospital emergency room and a scheduled visit to the doctor for in-depth consultation. Many of these stores also have on-site pharmacies, an added convenience for clinic patients who must fill a prescription right away.
Some consumers choose the walk-in clinics because their lives are so hectic that they can’t see a doctor during regular office hours. “It works for parents with that little one with an ear infection the day before Christmas,” says a nurse practitioner who works in a MinuteClinic located inside a New England CVS [ (Links to an external site.)] Pharmacy. Others have no regular doctor or prefer to visit a walk-in clinic rather than waiting in a crowded doctor’s office or going to the emergency room to have a sore throat checked. “Access to health care is key,” explains an official at Take Care Health Systems, which runs 350 walk-in clinics located in Walgreens[ (Links to an external site.)] drug stores. “Over 40 percent of our patients tell us that if it weren’t for our clinics, they would go to the emergency room, urgent care clinic, or wouldn’t seek treatment.”
Today, about 1,500 clinics are located inside U.S. stores of all kinds; within five years, as many as 4,000 may be operating inside stores, taking advantage of the built-in customer base and good retail locations. Two companies—MinuteClinics that serve CVS stores and Take Care Health System clinics that serve Walgreens stores—account for three-quarters of the U.S. walk-in medical market. CVS plans to open 500 additional clinics during the next few years, even as Walmart moves to aggressively expand its network of walk-in, quick-service clinics, all operated by outside health-care providers.
Grocery retailers are also offering walk-in clinics as an extra convenience for their shoppers. For example, at the Giant Eagle supermarket in Lyndhurst, Ohio, the FastCare Clinic operated by University Hospitals is open seven days a week to treat routine illnesses and administer vaccines. Appointments are available, but if consumers walk in and find a line, they can take a vibrating pager and continue shopping until the clinic signals that it’s their turn for medical treatment. If the patient usually sees a doctor affiliated with University Hospitals, clinic personnel update the electronic medical records and send them to the doctor immediately after the visit.
One big reason for the growing popularity of walk-in clinics is the lower cost: Consumers pay significantly less than they would pay at the doctor’s office or the emergency room. Walk-in clinics treat only a limited range of ailments and refer more serious cases to a doctor or hospital. Although some clinics are staffed by doctors, most are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants. Other trends affecting demand for walk-in clinic treatment are a looming shortage of primary-care doctors and ongoing legislative changes that affect the nation’s health-care system. All of this means that soon an even higher number of consumers could find themselves shopping for earrings in aisle 2 and then choose to have an earache or bug bite checked in aisle 3 at the in-store clinic.[i] (Links to an external site.)
[i] (Links to an external site.) Laura Landro, “Infor med Patient: Hospital Systems Move into the Walk-In Market,” Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2011,; Laura Landro, “At the Mall: New Clinics Let Patients Skip the ER,” Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2011,; Julie Appleby and Sarah Varne y, “Wal-Mart Plans Ambitious Expansion into Medical Care,” National Public Radio, November 9, 2011,; Priyanka Dayal; “Walk-in Non-emergency Clinics on the Rise,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA), October 30, 2011,; Janet Cho, “Giant Eagle Adds Walk-In Clinics Staffed by University Hospital Nurse Practitioners,” Cleveland Plain Dealer , May 6, 2010, www.clevel; and “Buy Health Care at the Store?” MSN Money, March 18, 2011, (Links to an external site.)
1. How are retailers using in-store clinics in their marketing to consumers on the basis of lifestyle?
2. What consumer values are represented by the growth in demand for in-store medical clinics during recent years?
3. Develop a means-end chain for an in-store medical clinic. What attributes are associated with the values you have identified?
4. How might personality characteristics such as dogmatism and frugality apply to consumers’ interest in and use of in-store medical clinics?

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