Archive for February, 2008

Lessons Learned from Failed Retail Clinics

February 1st, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

Recently, CheckUps, retail clinics operating in Wal-marts, closed 23 of its 81 locations, citing debt and the inability to pay its medical staff and vendors. However, Wal-mart executives are still planning to lease space to several hundred clinics over the next two years and to offer space to up to 2,000 clinics in the next six years.

While this news isn’t slowing down the superstore, how will other organizations react to it? Will the results for this organization have an effect on retail clinic strategies of other organizations? Is this a warning for other retail clinics?

During a recent HealthSounds podcast, HIN spoke with Dr. Thomas Atkins, medical director of Sutter Express Care, drugstore-based medical clinics that are part of Sutter Health’s network of hospitals and doctors serving northern California, about establishing locations for retail clinics, sharing information with PCPs and the impact retail clinics can have on reducing non-emergent ED usage as well as healthcare costs.

Dr. Atkins says there are several lessons to learn from Wal-mart’s situation.

“Different clinics will react differently to that news,” says Dr. Atkins. He remarked that commercial operators of retail clinics will look closely at the implications this announcement has for the way that they conduct their business.

Dr. Atkins also noted that organizations like Wal-mart that house these retail clinics will now think twice about their investments with these clinics, specifically regarding the size and space used for the clinics and the reliability of those they contract with.

HIN and Health 2.0: Our First Video

February 1st, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

The popularity of social networking sites like YouTube, FaceBook and MySpace redefines the term consumer-driven. Inspired by colleagues in the healthcare industry who are experiencing phenomenal success via YouTube and other Web 2.0 technology-driven sites, we decided to practice what we preach. Here’s HIN’s first video — produced in-house and on a shoestring budget — profiling several healthcare innovators who are reaping the marketing, recruitment and communications payoffs of Web 2.0. Let us know what you think.