Many Agree on Potential Benefits of Onsite Clinics in Major Retail Stores That Can Provide Basic Medical Services, Yet Large Numbers Are Also Skeptical
Among U.S. adults who have never used an onsite health clinic at a store for basic medical services, more say they would be unlikely to use one, while fewer, though substantial numbers, would
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Oct. 26, 2005 – A new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll shows that while few (7%) U.S. adults have ever used an onsite health clinic in a pharmacy or retail chain, vast majorities of all adults agree that these retail-based clinics may be more convenient, accessible and perhaps would offer some services at a lower cost. Among those who have never gone to an in-store clinic for healthcare services, 59% say they would be not very or not at all likely to use such a clinic and 41% say they would be somewhat or very likely to use one for basic medical services. Many consumers express some concern about the quality of care they would receive at these clinics and from whom they would receive it.
Below are the results of the online survey of 2,245 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive? between Oct. 12 and 14, 2005 for The Wall Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition.
Among those who have used an onsite health clinic in a pharmacy or retail chain, most report being somewhat or very satisfied with various aspects of their experience. Clinic users were most satisfied with its convenience (92% say they were somewhat/very satisfied), followed by the quality of care (89%), having qualified staff to provide the care (88%) and the cost (80%).
Despite the current low incidence of onsite clinic use at retail chains or pharmacies (possibly due to the low incidence of availability of this service), large majorities of all adults see the convenience and affordability benefits these sites offer.
More than four in five (83%) adults strongly or somewhat agree that onsite health clinics at retail stores can provide basic medical services to people at times when doctors’ offices are closed, like evenings and weekends.
Seventy-eight percent (78%) strongly or somewhat agree that onsite health clinics provide busy people with a fast and easy way to get basic medical services.
Three-quarters (75%) of adults strongly or somewhat agree that onsite health clinics can provide low-cost basic services to people who otherwise might not be able to afford care.
However, large majorities have concerns about these clinics and do not see them as purely helpful to consumers.
Three in four (75%) adults strongly or somewhat agree that they would be worried that serious medical problems might not be accurately diagnosed by someone working in an onsite health clinic in a retail store or pharmacy.
Seventy-one percent (71%) strongly or somewhat agree that they would be worried about the qualifications of the staff that provides care in a health clinic not run by medical doctors.
About two-thirds (66%) strongly or somewhat agree that onsite health clinics are just another way for big companies to make more money.
"As consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services continue to rise, major retail chains are stepping in to provide basic medical services via retail-based clinics," says Katherine Binns, president of the Healthcare and Public Relations Research Practice at Harris Interactive. "While only a small number of adults have ever used these clinics, these survey findings suggest that this approach to providing convenient and low-cost basic care might be appealing and helpful to many consumers."
Harris Interactive conducted this online survey within the United States between Oct. 12 and 14, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 2,245 adults, ages 18 years and over. Figures for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income and region were weighted where necessary to align with population proportions. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the sub-samples of those who have used an onsite health clinic (131) and those who have not used an onsite health clinic (2,114) is higher and varies. Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of error in polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. This includes refusals to be interviewed (nonresponse), question wording and question order, and weighting. It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors. This online sample is not a probability sample.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
About the Survey
The Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll is an exclusive poll that is published in the award-winning Health Industry Edition of The Wall Street Journal Online at www.wsj.com/health
About The Wall Street Journal Online
The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com, published by Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ; http://www.dowjones.com/
), is the largest paid subscription news site on the Web. Launched in 1996, the Online Journal continues to attract quality subscribers that are at the top of their industries, with 764,000 subscribers world-wide as of Q3, 2005.
The Online Journal provides in-depth business news and financial information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with insight and analysis, including breaking business and technology news and analysis from around the world. It draws on the Dow Jones network of more than 1,800 business and financial news staff—the largest network of business and financial journalists in the world. The Online Journal also features exclusive content, including interactive graphics on business and world news, and online-only columns about the automotive industry, technology, personal finance and more.
The Online Journal offers two industry-specific editions: the award-winning Health Industry Edition and the Media & Marketing Edition. The Health Industry Edition offers authoritative analysis, breaking news and commentary from top industry journalists. The Media & Marketing Edition is designed for professionals in the advertising, marketing, entertainment and media industries. Subscribers to both online editions also get access to the full content of the Online Journal.
In 2005, the Online Journal was awarded a Codie Award for Best Online News Service for the second consecutive year, and its Health Industry Edition was awarded Best Online Science or Technology Service for the third consecutive year. In 2004, the Online Journal received an EPpy Award for Best Internet Business Service over 1 million monthly visitors.
The Wall Street Journal Online network includes CareerJournal.com, OpinionJournal.com, StartupJournal.com, RealEstateJournal.com and CollegeJournal.com.
About Harris Interactive?
Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/
) is the 13th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, perhaps best known for The Harris Poll? and for pioneering and engineering Internet-based research methods. The Rochester, New York–based global research company blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application, conducting proprietary and public research globally to help clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
Blending science and art, Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital and one of the world’s largest online panels of respondents, with premier Internet survey technology and sophisticated research methods to market leadership through its US, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe
and Asia offices, its wholly owned subsidiary, Novatris in Paris (http://www.novatris.com/
), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies.