from the AGS
Tips for Seniors Considering Visits to Retail Medical Clinics
Foundation for Health in Aging Offers Safety Tips for Seniors
Considering Visits to Retail Medical Clinics
the number of retail walk-in clinics in the US expected to double
by the end of this year, consumers may be unsure when and if
these clinics are a safe bet. Since these "one-stop"
clinics sometimes offer services that may be used by older people,
it's important for older adults to know when it's probably appropriate
to use these clinics and when it's probably best to just walk
clinics can be convenient but I have concerns about older patients
relying on these clinics for care," says Jane Potter, MD,
President of the American Geriatrics Society and Professor and
Chief of the Section of Geriatrics at the University of Nebraska
Medical Center. "Older adults have unique healthcare needs
and I'm concerned that staff at these clinics may not always
have the geriatrics training or experience necessary to meet
these needs on a regular basis."
older adults will undoubtedly be customers of the growing number
of clinics opening in grocery and drug stores, the American
Geriatrics Society's Foundation for Health in Aging offers this
advice to help older people determine when it's likely safe
to visit, and when it's best to call your doctor or visit the
nearest ER instead.
the clinic's health care professional about all of your medical
conditions and any allergies or problems you have had with medications.
Bring a complete list of your current medications and ask the
health care provider to check this list to be sure these drugs
won't interact with any new medications he or she may prescribe.
Get a report from the clinic that includes your diagnosis and
follow-up instructions and take that report with you on your
next visit to your geriatrician or primary care doctor.
a retail medical clinic if you have a new major symptom such
as chest pain, shortness of breath, or swelling in your legs.
These symptoms need the immediate attention of your own geriatrician
or primary care doctor or ER staff.
Visit one of these clinics if you notice a change with a medical
problem that you have had for a long time and that is already
being treated by your doctor. You should see your own primary
provider for this problem.
Go to a retail medical clinic if you have a cough that has lasted
for three or more weeks. This requires special medical attention
that most of these smaller clinics cannot handle.
Depend on a retail medical clinic for most of your health care.
These clinics are only able to provide a few basic tests and
treatments. You need to visit a geriatrician or other primary
health care provider that you know and trust for the majority
of your health care needs.