Worcester District Medical Society Forum: Retail Based Health Clinics

The Worcester District Medical Society's member forum on
retail-based health clinics outlined the clinics' potential impact on physicians and some strategies that physicians can use to respond to their entrance in Massachusetts.

William Ryder, regulatory and legislative counsel for the MMS, summarized the two-year struggle by a coalition of concerned providers to ensure that retail clinics’ scope of practice was strictly limited, that the facilities are safe, and that visit records are efficiently transferred. Those efforts culminated with comprehensive DPH regulations in January 2008. Go to YouTube or watch the video below.

Peter Lindblad, M.D., a primary care physician and medical staff president at St. Vincent’s Hospital, noted that pharmaceutical companies are looking to get involved directly with retail clinics, raising conflict-of-interest concerns to a new level. He also said retail clinics will translate into missed opportunities for routine screenings and preventive care. Go to YouTube, or watch the video below.

Mary Philbin, Ed.M., director of faculty development at UMass Medical School, suggested that physicians respond to retail clinics proactively
by:

  • Adjusting office hours for more convenient patient access
  • Improving communication with patients for better outcomes and
    higher patient satisfaction
  • Coaching patients on the appropriate use of retail clinics

Go to YouTube, or watch the video below.

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