Pediatric providers' attitudes toward retail clinics

Garbutt, J. M.; Mandrell, K. M.; Sterkel, R.; Epstein, J.; Stahl, K.; Kreusser, K.; Sitrin, H.; Ariza, A.; Reis, E. C.; Siegel, R.; Pascoe, J.; Strunk, R. C.

J Pediatr. 2013 Jul 3; 163(5):1384-1388 e6


OBJECTIVE: To describe pediatric primary care providers' attitudes toward retail clinics and their experiences of retail clinics use by their patients. STUDY DESIGN: A 51-item, self-administered survey from 4 pediatric practice-based research networks from the midwestern US, which gauged providers' attitudes toward and perceptions of their patients' interactions with retail clinics, and changes to office practice to better compete. RESULTS: A total of 226 providers participated (50% response). Providers believed that retail clinics were a business threat (80%) and disrupted continuity of chronic disease management (54%). Few (20%) agreed that retail clinics provided care within recommended clinical guidelines. Most (91%) reported that they provided additional care after a retail clinic visit (median 1-2 times per week), and 37% felt this resulted from suboptimal care at retail clinics "most or all of the time." Few (15%) reported being notified by the retail clinic within 24 hours of a patient visit. Those reporting prompt communication were less likely to report suboptimal retail clinic care (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.10-0.42) or disruption in continuity of care (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.15-0.71). Thirty-six percent reported changes to office practice to compete with retail clinics (most commonly adjusting or extending office hours), and change was more likely if retail clinics were perceived as a threat (OR 3.70, 95% CI 1.56-8.76); 30% planned to make changes in the near future. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the perceived business threat, pediatric providers are making changes to their practice to compete with retail clinics. Improved communication between the clinic and providers may improve collaboration.

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