I was at the local Walgreens pharmacy, waiting to pick up my prescription, and I was browsing the list of services offered at the clinic inside the store. I noticed that the options include diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, depression, and COPD. Is this really a good idea?
Do any providers here work in a retail clinic that provides chronic care services? What has been your experience with this? Do patients really go to these types of clinics for these services? What does everyone else think of this practice?
I absolutely think that these illnesses are well within the scope of the nurse practitioner to diagnose and treat in the primary care setting, unless they are truly complicated, in which case any prudent PCP would refer them to a specialist. It just seems like a bad idea to offer these services as part of a menu of specific services, next to sore throat and flu. What kind of follow-up will these patients have? What kind of evaluation? If a patient can go to a store clinic for these types of services, does it not discourage them from establishing a PCP? If there is no PCP overseeing their overall health, is something not bound to get missed?
Most of the in-store clinics I have seen have only one person working on any given day. Not to mention, a seemingly-endless list of patients waiting to be seen. Some of them have an assistant, but most do not. How can a solo provider manage all this?
Just really curious to hear what others think of this practice and if anyone has experience to share.