Many trends come from the USA to Germany. Thus, this developing approach to health care in the US may become a reality in Germany soon. In major U.S. shopping centres, health kiosks are set up to offer both health information and primary care. This new model of care is becoming increasingly popular with the insured.
More than 1,000 Facilities
Situated in the U.S., „Convenient care clinics“ (CCC) providers are principally located in retail stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. There, they treat minor illnesses such as upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, ear infections, flu and conjunctivitis, and provide preventative health services. The health kiosks are also called „retail clinics“, „retail-based clinics“, „walk-in clinics“ or „nurse-in-a-box“. CCCs are usually occupied by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, and some of them are cared for by physicians. Currently there are over 1350 CCCs in the USA, most of which are open seven days a week and twelve hours a day during the work week, and eight hours a day on weekends.
Growing Acceptance from the Insured
As the health kiosks represent a relatively new model of care, currently only a small percentage of Americans use this form of health care. According to a study by the Rand Corporation, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, the offer is becoming more acceptable to the American people: the number of visits to such retail clinics between January 2007 and December 2009 went from 0.6 visits per 1,000 insured (January 2007) to 6.5 visits per 1,000 (December 2009). In the near future, it is assumed that the distribution of health kiosks in the United States will increase sharply.
The decisive factor for use by the insured is their residence in relation to the respective retail clinic. The medical offering should be adapted to the changing needs of patients, one of which is the patient requiring treatment where it is comfortable for them to travel to.
Finland already up to speed, with ‚Terveyskioski‘
Perhaps this form of primary health care is also a model for Germany. At the very least, the Germans copied the Americans in relation to the establishment of larger shopping centers, already having the necessary infrastructure. Finland has already had a positive experience with the local „Terveyskioski“. Here, the establishment of health kiosks was to reach the people who otherwise rarely visit a health facility. Because the first pilot was successful the project, which is funded by the Finnish municipalities, will be extended to an initial 45 other shopping centres by 2014 …