As a grocery store stock clerk in an earlier life, it is mind boggling to me every time I go to my local supermarket or corner drugstore. The products and services that today are commonplace to the millennial’s were merely a pipe dream to my generation and preceding. I mean who would have ever thought along with the grocery trip you could buy clothing, get your car serviced, purchase that “hot” electronic gadget and also receive your healthcare care from a licensed medical professional!
Just down the street from my home, I now go to the corner drug store for routine medical care that I normally would have had to get an appointment for or wait in the urgent care waiting room of my family physician group’s office. Though the general medical care I seek is not life threating the range of services offered are fairly extensive. Lab work-up, vital sign monitoring, inoculation and other minor diagnostic and treatment are now accessible at these commercial store locations. This “new model” of healthcare delivery fits like a glove on the hand of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and is a reimbursement “home run” for insures and patient consumers alike.
This paradigm shift of healthcare delivery now becoming available at your corner drug store or supermarket is only in its infancy. Today’s Physician Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner typically are the clinical professional seeing patients at these locations. The medical services offered will continue to expand and along will follow more biomedical and imaging devices to support these next offerings of corner store clinical operations. Today’s on-site devices such as the otoscope, electronic bp and mobile vital signs monitor are common tools supporting this clinic operation. It will not be long until other diagnostic devices the likes of ultrasound, general radiography and maybe even CT images could be acquired during patient visits.
Futuristic? The commercial market has been gearing up for this “new model” the past few years. The vision of making products more accessible to a captive market and the need for easy access along with affordable healthcare will make this “new model” an overwhelming success and patient convenience. HTM professionals will be shouldering their tool bag on the road to provide on-site device service and maintenance at these commercially owned clinical locations and will become yet another “new” emerging sector of the healthcare industry. See the future – be the future.
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