Convenient Care: Growth and Staffing Trends in Urgent Care and Retail Medicine
October 14, 2015
Increased access to medical service — the idea that success in healthcare delivery depends on “being everywhere, all the time” — is a part of a growing trend in which healthcare organizations are evolving away from a transactional model of care and toward an “experiential” model characterized by customer service, price transparency, provider ratings, and ease of use. With the understanding that consumers punish complexity and reward simplicity, healthcare is shifting to a convenient care/outpatient model with a wider menu of niche providers to suit varying customer preferences.
In order to capture consumer preferences for convenient care, hospitals, large medical groups, health corporations and other organizations are developing outpatient sites of service and amenities, including urgent care centers, retail clinics, free standing emergency rooms, telehealth services, healthcare monitoring apps and home health devices, even an updated version of the classic house call. Providing convenient care services is no longer a secondary consideration filled by “moonlighting” primary care physicians — it is a distinct growth service line likely to capture more of the projected $5.4 trillion to be spent on healthcare by 2024.
In this white paper, we examine the development of convenient care, with an emphasis on urgent care centers and retail clinics, examining their purpose, growth and clinical staffing requirements.