What is a retail clinic?
Retail clinics are health centers located in retail locations such as pharmacies, grocery stores and department stores. These clinics provide services to address minor health needs that do not require the level of emergent care offered in emergency rooms or urgent care facilities.
Retail clinics are usually staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants certified in the treatment of non-life-threatening conditions and injuries.
Why are retail clinics important?
Retail clinics offer a cost-effective and widely available alternative to traditional medical practices
Some patients--especially those without health insurance--choose to utilize retail clinics for their affordability compared to traditional medical practices. These facilities also offer the convenience of proximity to other services and extended hours of operation. Retail clinics may also have shorter walk-in wait times than a doctor's office or another care center.
Many retail clinics are affiliated or partnered with major health providers, simplifying the transfer of health information as a patient navigates the care continuum.
What services do retail clinics offer?
Retail clinics are equipped to diagnose and treat minor illnesses, injuries and other conditions such as:
- Sore throat
- Minor cuts and scrapes
- Strains and sprains
- Minor respiratory conditions
While retail clinics don't have the diagnostic capabilities of urgent care facilities or physicians' offices, they still offer some diagnostic and preventive care services such as blood sampling, health screenings for school or work, and physical exams. Retail clinics also typically offer vaccinations.