- 36.6% said the retail clinic hours were more convenient
- 25.2% said their pediatrician had no available appointments
- 15.4% said they did not want to bother the pediatrician after hours
- 13% said the problem was not serious enough for a pediatrician visit
The 1,484 survey respondents were interviewed at pediatric practices in the St. Louis area and all had an established patient relationship with a pediatrician. The study also found that the groups most likely to use retail clinics are more educated, older, and affluent parents. Those groups typically have the best access to healthcare. Some pediatricians have extended their hours in an effort to retain their patients; however, in most cases, patients still need to make an appointment and may face long wait times. Rather than try to compete with retail clinics, some pediatricians have partnered with area clinics in an effort to improve care quality and continuity of care. Physicians and nurse practitioners who work in retail clinics normally do not have access to a patient’s record, causing some experts to raise concerns over quality of care. Often the only communication between retail clinics and the patient’s primary care provider is a care summary of the clinic visit. In response, some practices have begun sharing electronic health records with area retail clinics to ensure providers have a comprehensive record to inform their decisions.