Retail drugstore clinics have been knocked for offering such limited services, at least compared with urgent care centers. On the other hand, the wisdom of giving patients even easier access to healthcare services in a setting they’re visiting anyway is undeniable. So, some major healthcare organizations are making commitments to offer higher-acuity services in large shopping malls. First, M Health Fairview opened a walk-in clinic at Mall of America in Minnesota—the first such facility in the largest mall in the country. In New Jersey, The Valley Health System just opened a new Wellness and Walk-In Center at the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall. They’ll both face the same challenges all healthcare operations do in such settings—mainly, malls draw a different type of customer than a retail drugstore, where people are likely to be already seeking to meet healthcare needs. People generally visit malls less frequently, and often for entertainment purposes. And parking is likely to be easier in standalone retail locations. On the other hand, Mall of America has 11,000 daily workers (or as many as 13,000 depending on the season) and around 40 million annual visitors. Westfield Garden State Plaza is the largest mall in a state loaded with them. And at this time of year, shoppers are not likely to let illness or injury stop them from shopping. So, when they wake up with a sore throat and a miles-long shopping list, they might actually be more inclined to visit a mall-based urgent care that offers higher-acuity care than either a pharmacy clinic, or an urgent care center that would have to be a separate stop.
Will Placing Urgent Care Centers in Big Malls Mean Big Revenue?