Retail healthcare is health made simple, accessible, and, well, retail. Retail health clinics (RHCs) provide healthcare services in retail locations, like pharmacies, grocery stores, and shopping centers, so getting the help you need is more convenient than ever.
Of course, emergency care should still be taken to more formal, fully-equipped medical settings. Still, non-emergency matters like chronic and acute condition care, treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, or light testing can all be accomplished with the help of nurse practitioners and physician assistants mere steps away from the snack aisle. That’s right – you can satisfy your cravings and take care of that headache in one go.
RHCs are appealing to consumers, naturally, because they make getting the care you need easy and affordable, without the fuss of getting a doctor’s appointment and traveling to and then waiting around at the hospital. Consumers aren’t the only ones who benefit from RHCs, though, as the rise of retail healthcare is proving to be good for involved businesses, too.
In 2022, the US retail clinic market was valued at US$3.49 billion. There are over 2,000 RHCs in the US, primarily in metropolitan areas, and their claims-received stats have rocketed up 200% from 2017.
This level of growth wildly outpaced more traditional spaces, like physician practices, urgent care centers, and even emergency rooms (ERs). Forecasts also suggest that RHCs and other non-traditional competitors may soon dominate the primary-care market, constituting up to 30% of its US$260B valuation, by the not-so-distant future of 2030.
Major players in the RHC game comprise big names like CVS, Kroger, and Amazon, who, among others, are winning the consumer acquisition game by offering walk-in clinics, telenutrition, prescription management and delivery, health plans, support for in-home care, and even plans for mobile clinics.
Now, what does all that have to do with customer experience (CX)? Some of retail healthcare’s greatest strengths go hand-in-hand with CX values and best practices. For example, RHCs put ease and accessibility at the forefront, practicing customer-centric and personalized services, which are vital points of consideration for modern-day CX.
RHCs also display capability in consumer engagement, despite the high-volume environments, as well as a reasonable degree of know-how in omnichannel service, by way of online scheduling and check-ins, telemedicine provision, digital billing, and so on.
The retail healthcare market proves that everything CX professionals have been talking about doesn’t just work – it’s highly desired and primed for success because a customer-centric business is a customer-attracting business.
As this industry sub-sector continues to grow at this rapid pace, it can be anticipated that the demand for retail healthcare will inevitably outpace its ability to provide the workforce—if not the expertise—to sustain its established high level of CX.
CX professionals must be ready to step in once organizations start feeling the need for outsourced support and help more traditional healthcare providers measure up to the newly-defined standard of patient care. The rise of RHCs can be a healthy opportunity for everyone – CX practitioners, their healthcare clients, and their customer-patients.