Do retail clinics pose a threat to healthcare design or a bevy of new opportunities?
Recently, we ran a news article about theretail clinic boom currently happening in Illinois. In the
original article, Wendy Edwards, the area's lead nurse practitioner noted, "We’re really not in competition with the immediate care clinics. We’re trying to take the burden off them. A patient might go in there and just have a sore throat, when they could be seen by us instead." But a recent post on
Hospital Impact shows that these retail clinics are just beginning to expand their scope:
This got me thinking: Given the cookie-cutter design of shops like Walgreens and Rite Aid, it's not a stretch to assume that these retail clinics will be similarly formulaic. And with the increasing breadth of their coverage, what will this mean to healthcare design? A pessimist would look at this situation and say that, given the proper planning and execution, these retail clinics will severely affect the way hospitals and other local clinics function, ultimately forcing architects and designers to rethink the way they design hospitals and clinics. Conversely, these retail clinics might become a new outlet and avenue for healthcare design. In either case, retail clinics look to be a fixture in healthcare's future. But if they will affect healthcare design or not is yet to be seen.