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ADVANCE Voice: NP

Retail Health Satisfaction Still High

Published May 22, 2008 11:05 AM by Jennifer Ford

The public is still happy with convenient care clinics, according to a survey done of 4,937 adults by Harris Interactive for the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ.com/Harris Interactive health care study, which was conducted earlier this month, provides reassurance that the public is confident in the retail health model and shows an increase of 4% of usage of clinics from last year (7% of the adults surveyed had used a clinic).

The poll reported that 90% of those who used the clinics were satisfied with the quality of care they received, and similar percentages were pleased with cost and convenience. An interesting point to note for nurse practitioners, however, is that 65% of all respondents (including those who had not visited a clinic) said they would be worried about the qualifications of providers that are not physicians. The good news is, however, that this number is down from 71% in 2005.  Also, the percentage of all adults surveyed who answered "Agree Strongly/Somewhat" to being concerned that they would not be diagnosed properly for serious conditions dropped from 75% in 2005 to 65% in 2008.

A reasonable interpretation of the drop in worry over provider qualification is the increased good publicity that NPs have gotten as a direct result of working in the retail health industry. And, in even better news, 88% of those who have actually used a convenient care clinic or have a family member who has visited one were satisfied with the qualifications of the provider.

The goal, then, is to get patients to visit the clinics. "Once somebody gets exposed to a nurse practitioner in the clinic, they love the provider, so the biggest hurdle is to get them to go there, and get them introduced to a nurse practitioner. Once they’ve done that they really like the provider and say they provide quality care. And they like the 15 to 20 minutes with a professional. That’s priceless," Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the Convenient Care Association, told ADVANCE. Hansen-Turton also says that NPs are great at getting the word out to friends and family about what they do. So, as long as nurse practitioners continue to do this, and the public continues visiting convenient care clinics, we can only expect satisfaction rates to rise.

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