(Reposting -- the Take Care Clinics are run by Walgreens)
CVS Caremark a few days ago announced plans to double its in-store Minute Clinics -- and also try to move beyond flu shots and strep tests and do more chronic disease management (diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma etc). Walgreens is eying partnership with a hospital or hospitals regarding future growth of its Take Care Clinics. (For more details on the business end of this, see this Business Week/Bloomberg story or this WSJ blog item.)
Coincidentally -- both I and my colleague Julie Barnes just a few days earlier had our first Minute Clinic experiences, for flu shots and strep throat. Both of us lived to tell the tale. Julie had a bad sore throat on a weekday morning when her regular doctor wasn’t in. She went to the CVS, and yep -- it was strep. She walked right over to the pharmacy counter, picked up her antibiotics, went home. The only minor flaw, she pointed out later, was that although the clinic had the capacity to communicate electronically with her doctor, and her doctor does have electronic medical records, Julie didn’t have the necessary information on her to have the clinic send the information. It will be up to Julie to fill the doctor in on what drug she took, and other relevant information, next time she sees her. And we hope providers soon figure out how to communicate by secure e-mail, but in the meantime Julie knows that she needs to keep the necessary info in her wallet for the future.