MinuteClinic, the leading retail health care provider in the U.S., is reinventing pharmacy by providing patients with convenient access to high-quality affordable health care at their retail pharmacy. Since 2000, MinuteClinic has provided care to more than 11 million patients –10 million of whom have been treated in the last five years. As of the end of 2011, there were approximately 550 full-time MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in 25 states and the District of Columbia. MinuteClinic reached its goal of opening more than 100 clinics in 2011 and we are on our way to operating more than 1,000 clinics by 2016.
MinuteClinic provides walk-in care for common family illnesses, injuries and skin conditions — in addition to vaccinations, physicals and monitoring services for chronic conditions — seven days a week without an appointment, including evenings and holidays. Convenience is a key factor that drives consumers to seek out high-quality care at MinuteClinic.
A second factor is the profound shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S. It is already a challenge for many patients to be seen for common conditions like sore throats and sinus infections. With a shortfall of at least 45,000 primary care physicians expected by 2020, this problem is only expected to get worse. MinuteClinic gives these patients – who might otherwise wait weeks or even months to see a primary care physician – the opportunity to be seen and treated sooner. MinuteClinic services are covered by most insurance plans, with patients typically paying their primary care co-pay for services.
Expanding Scope of Services
MinuteClinic is also continuing to expand the scope of services provided into non-acute areas such as monitoring and point of care testing for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and asthma in addition to vaccinations and routine physical examinations. In total, these non-acute areas represent the fastest growing segment of the MinuteClinic business and are projected to account for 25 percent of MinuteClinic volume within the next five years.
MinuteClinic continued to promote the value and convenience of services for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and in 2011 provided 7,500 free diabetes monitoring visits including testing for Hemoglobin A1c and kidney function, BMI, foot, blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
In addition to offering monitoring, wellness services and physicals, MinuteClinic practitioners are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumovax, and Hepatitis A & B are also available.
Quality and Satisfaction
MinuteClinic was the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national certifying agency for nearly 15,000 major health care organizations. MinuteClinic has a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate as measured through Press Ganey, the industry’s recognized leader in health care performance measurement. MinuteClinic’s Net Promoter Score, a measure of recommendation to family and friends, is on par with top brands such as Apple and Amazon.com.
Forging Health System Relationships
MinuteClinic is forging collaborative clinical, information system, and health care relationships with many of the nation’s leading health systems, including Cleveland Clinic, Henry Ford Health System, Emory Healthcare and others. In 2011, MinuteClinic finalized affiliations with nine health care systems; one additional affiliation was added in early 2012. Health system physicians collaborate with MinuteClinic practitioners to provide quality oversight and education services. Many of them also serve as MinuteClinic directors.
MinuteClinic is also integrating electronic medical record systems with affiliated hospital systems in regional markets. The integration of medical records allows MinuteClinic practitioners to view prior medical history and important information such as current prescriptions and allergies. It then allows the MinuteClinic visit summary to be visible within the patient’s overall history to the primary care provider.
Ask Me 3™
In 2011, MinuteClinic became the first retail clinic provider to launch a partnership with the National Patient Safety Foundation for its health literacy program. This patient education program is designed to enhance communication between health care providers and patients in order to improve health outcomes. The program encourages patients to ask and understand the answers to three questions:
• What is my main problem?
• What do I need to do?
• Why is it important for me to do this?
To showcase the partnership with the National Patient Safety Foundation, MinuteClinic displays certificates and provides brochures on the program to patients. We also make the information available on our website www.minuteclinic.com/askme3. Our practitioners have been trained on the program so they can guide patients to be proactive in their care and ask the three questions.
During the first year of the program, MinuteClinic practitioners reported high levels of engagement with Ask Me 3™. As a next step, MinuteClinic is exploring ways to increase the frequency of discussing the program and measuring the impact of its use on patient understanding of their care.