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AAFP Sets the Foundation For Mini-Clinics

With the continued growth in retail miniclinics, the AAFP has drafted a policy to establish a foundation on which retail mini-clinics should be built.  The report can be found at: "Desired Attributes of Retail Health Clinics." 

The main points, from the AAFP, are as follow:

  1. Scope of Service -- Retail clinics must have a well-defined and limited scope of clinical services.
  2. Evidence-based Medicine -- Clinical services and treatment must be evidence based and quality improvement-oriented.
  3. Team-based Approach -- The clinic should have a formal connection with physician practices in the local community, preferably with family physicians, to provide continuity of care. Other health professionals, such as nurse practitioners, should only operate in accordance with state and local regulations, as part of a "team-based" approach to health care and under responsible supervision of a practicing, licensed physician.
  4. Referrals -- The clinic must have a referral system to physician practices or to other entities appropriate to the patient’s symptoms beyond the clinic’s scope of work. The clinic should encourage all patients to have a "medical home."
  5. Electronic Health Records -- The clinic should include an EHR system sufficient to gather and communicate the patient’s information with the family physician’s office, preferably one that is compatible with the Continuity of Care Record supported by AAFP and others.


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