What is a disruptive innovation? In the healthcare industry’s context, it refers to any product or service that makes healthcare more affordable, efficient, and accessible to the people. With respect to this definition, retail health clinics can be considered as a disruptive innovation. But the catch here is that though these clinics look more attractive to the common man; they are not necessarily set up to siphon patients away from hospitals. On the contrary, hospitals welcome health clinics as they transform care delivery by adding additional options for underserved patients rather than taking things away from the current system. So, at the core of it, retail clinics are more of a boon in the healthcare industry. Still not convinced? Let us take you through a few more functions that retail clinics stand for; once you are done, you are sure to agree with us on this:
Retail Health Clinics Target New Patients
Contrary to popular belief, retail clinics do not take away existing high-volume patients away from hospitals; instead, they are more focused on targeting patients who are otherwise reluctant to go to hospitals and visit doctors due to various reasons such as trivial reason of illness or to avoid long waiting queues. Therefore, retail health clinics are creating a new market for these customers rather than disrupting the existing business of hospitals.
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Helps Manage/Reduce Overcrowding in Hospitals
With retail clinics in the picture, customers who would otherwise have had to wait in long queues at the hospital for common illness can take a breath of relief. This is also beneficial for hospitals which often face problems from overcrowding of patients when there is limited medical personnel to attend to these patients.
Technological Innovations are Easier to Implement
Implementation of new technologies in hospitals is often a time-consuming and challenging process due to current regulatory and structural issues. However, retail health clinics provide controlled opportunities for various innovative techniques (e.g., telemedicine) and new business models ( e.g., incorporating primary care with awareness programs) to be tested and flourish over time.
More Efficient in Spreading Health Awareness
Currently, hospitals perform poorly in terms of educating patients on managing chronic diseases, prompt diagnosis of problems and promoting healthy living. The main reason being, hospitals are more specialized in critical health conditions such as heart attacks, bodily injuries, surgeries, etc. Therefore, the retail clinic could perform better in providing efficient care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, mental health issues, etc.