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Co-located Retail Clinics and Pharmacies: An Opportunity to Provide More Primary Care

1
College of Pharmacy, Touro University California, 1310 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592, USA
2
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Ave, San Francisco, CA 94702, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030074
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist Services)
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PDF [201 KB, uploaded 26 June 2019]

Abstract

This paper proposes that co-located retail clinics (RCs) and community pharmacies can increase opportunities to provide more accessible, affordable, and patient-friendly primary care services in the United States. RCs are small businesses of about 150–250 square feet with a clientele of about 10–30 patients each day and most frequently staffed by nurse practitioners (NPs). Community pharmacies in the U.S. at ~67,000 far outnumber RCs at ~2800, thereby opening substantial opportunity for growth. Community pharmacies and pharmacists have been working to increase on-site clinical services, but progress has been slowed by the relative isolation from other practitioners. An ideal merged facility based on an integrated platform is proposed. NPs and pharmacists could share functions that fulfill documented consumer preferences and still maintain separate practice domains. Potential benefits include a broader inventory of clinical services including laboratory tests, immunizations, patient education, and physical assessment, as well as better patient access, interprofessional training opportunities, and economies related to the use of resources, day-to-day operations, and performance metrics. Challenges include the availability of sufficient, appropriately trained staff; limitations imposed by scope of practice and other laws; forging of collaborative relationships between NPs and pharmacists; and evidence that the merged operations provide economic benefits beyond those of separate enterprises. View Full-Text
Keywords: community pharmacy; retail clinics; pharmacists; nurse practitioners; interprofessional training; primary care; healthcare access community pharmacy; retail clinics; pharmacists; nurse practitioners; interprofessional training; primary care; healthcare access
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Knapp, K.; Yoshizuka, K.; Sasaki-Hill, D.; Caygill-Walsh, R. Co-located Retail Clinics and Pharmacies: An Opportunity to Provide More Primary Care. Pharmacy 2019, 7, 74.

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