CareClinic now in three counties

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Kaiser Permantne CareClinic at Bartell DrugsCareClinic by Kaiser Permanente at Bartell Drugs is dramatically growing its footprint in the Puget Sound region. Three years ago, CareClinic began with three locations in the center of the Seattle metro area. Today, our convenient walk-in clinics have strategically expanded in all directions.

North of the Seattle area is the Silver Lake CareClinic in Snohomish County. Located in Everett, Silver Lake CareClinic saw its first patients in April of this year. Gig Harbor CareClinic, our first Pierce County location, opened in June.

On July 31 we expand east to Snoqualmie, where Bartell Drugs will open a new store. It’s the first designed and purpose-built to include CareClinic. A fifteenth CareClinic will open in Redmond Town Center on August 21.

By year end, five new locations will have opened. “The only direction CareClinic isn’t going is into the waters of Puget Sound,” said John Lewis, CareClinic’s operational leader.

This is in-line with nationwide health care trends. Retail clinics such as CareClinic are increasingly popular care options for consumers. A 2016 NPR report noted that 12 percent of U.S. adults have received care at a retail clinic, or “mini-clinic” in the last two years, and 89 percent rated their experience as “good” or “excellent.” CareClinic exceeds these benchmarks with over 95 percent of patients giving it the highest possible rating (five out of five) in patient surveys.

Convenient, quality care at Washington’s long-time drug store

CareClinic operational leader, John Lewis, and clinician, Michael Erickson, PA-C

By working with Bartell Drugs, Kaiser Permanente is teamed with a local business that has strong ties to the Northwest. Family owned since 1890, Bartell Drugs was founded one year after Washington achieved statehood. Today the Bartell Drugs brand has strong regional recognition among all Washington demographics. CareClinic gives many Washington residents a convenient resource for care in their own neighborhoods.

“CareClinic meets the demand for routine medical services,” says Lewis. “I like to think we’re perfect for things like a sore throat that you think might be strep, or a cut that needs a few stitches. We also do a lot of vaccines, as well as quick exams for kids joining sports leagues and summer camps.”

CareClinic’s graphical online check-in tool

“CareClinic’s biggest fans are people who see convenience not just as a preference, but as a necessity. It’s convenient in so many ways,” Lewis said.

  • Convenient hours: Open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. including weekends and most holidays.
  • Convenient location: Bartell Drug stores (and the CareClinics within) are in high-traffic locations that countless people pass by daily.
  • Onsite pharmacy: Prescriptions may be filled immediately at the Bartell Drugs pharmacy. For our members, it’s the same price as using a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.
  • Quick care: CareClinic patients can often be seen immediately and rarely wait for more than 30 minutes. Over 80 percent of patients give us 5/5 rating for satisfaction for wait times. (YTD Wait Rating 82%)
  • Online check-in: Patients can get in line remotely at CareClinic.org and also with the Kaiser Permanente Washington mobile app. Wait-time estimates are also available through the online check-in tool.

CareClinic a key component of our delivery system

Because CareClinic is a fully integrated component of our overall delivery system, it allows us to realize efficiencies that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. We’re able to offer health plans that are highly cost-competitive while simultaneously growing our delivery system and improving member experience.

For example, the 2016 to 2017 flu season was the worst in years, which can stress any health care system. CareClinics served as an important outlet valve for our medical centers by providing a quick, convenient option for people with minor medical issues.