Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Retail Clinics: A Disruptive Innovation

While reading this week about the impact of environmental and competitive factors, disruptive innovation was analyzed and its future presence in all sectors.  In order to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing cost, disruptive innovations occur. 
In the healthcare sector currently, disruptive innovation is modern healthcare.  New technologies are being used daily by both patients and doctors, all to reduce cost and increase efficiency.  One example of cutting healthcare costs is the emergence of retail clinics.  Retail clinics are a disruptive innovation since they do operate outside of the conventional physician office setting, and therefore disrupt the traditional business model of care.
As the gatekeeper for a patient’s care, patients treated in retail clinics have less costs per episode of care than they would in a hospital setting.  In addition to the lower cost, the largest reason for the retail clinic popularity is their convenience.  Retail clinics are geographically located in both rural and urban settings, while having long hours of operation to access of high quality care.
Retail clinics have replaced a large portion of provided care in both urgent care and primary physician settings.  New players in the healthcare market have emerged in this market, however large healthcare systems have utilized the retail clinics to their advantage.  Large integrated systems have used retail clinics as a vehicle for further referrals to their larger facilities.
The presence of disruptive innovation is today’s healthcare. Technology companies and healthcare organizations have found many successful new products and services, such as retail clinics, to overall improve healthcare services.  Without this disruptive innovation organizations would still be struggling to replace complex services and products, with simple and affordable ones.
[1]Glabman, M. (2009). Disruptive innovations that will change your life in healthcare. Managed Care, Retrieved from http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/0901/0901.disruptive.html
[2] Proceedings of the California HealthCare Foundation/Health Affairs Roundtable “Retail Clinics: Disruptive
Innovation in Primary Care?”.2007.

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