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Walk-in clinics: A new trend

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 It's a new and growing trend in healthcare, the walk-in clinic.  They are popping up across the country. but are they for you and your family?

They are fast, friendly, and eager to address your health care needs with traditional doctors' offices increasingly unable to keep up with patient demand, the number of walk in retail clinics is exploding.

Emily Dalgo, student, "If it were some chronic illness, then I definitely would probably want a health care provider, a long-term provider, but if I'm just sick with a cold, then I would rather just come to a clinic."

CVS has over eight-hundred "Minute Clinics" in twenty-nine states and D. C. with plans for fifteen-hundred by 2017.   And Walgreens expanded its health care clinics to offer shots, physicals and other preventive care.

Web Golinkin, convenient care association, "Consumers are looking for easier access to high-quality, affordable health care. They are more and more pressed for time and focused on convenience."

That convenience is critical, 73 percent of Americans can't easily access medical care on a night, weekend or holiday without going to an emergency room..

A void retail clinics are aggressively trying to fill.

But experts offer these guidelines before you visit a clinic:

-- Know which medications you're on and any allergies you have.

-- Be sure what you need is routine care not a specialist.

-- Keep your records to share with your primary-care physician.

-- Don't feel pressured to use the on-site pharmacy.

-- And, if a walk-in clinic doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to walk out.

Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, "If a patient goes only to a retail clinic, they are not going to have that relationship with a primary care provider and they might miss some important preventive care services."
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