December 11, 2013 10:21PM
By Eve Britton
CHESHIRE — People needing vaccinations, physicals, health counseling and prescriptions can now go to a new walk-in clinic at CVS, 905 S. Main St.
The Cheshire Minute Clinic, is the first for the town. The company runs 19 in the state. The first opened in 2006. Southington also has one in the 326 Main St. CVS, according to the Minute Clinic website.
In Connecticut, the Minute Clinics are staffed by Nurse Practioners, who can give vaccinations, perform physicals, “diagnose, treat and prescribe,” said Minute Clinic State Practice Manager Marleen McGuire.
The clinics are not equipped to draw blood or take X-Rays, McGuire said, but the staff can perform many of the things that one would normally go to a doctor’s office for, like weight management, smoking cessation, cholesterol and glucose level checks.
“We want people to develop a relationship with the nurse practitioner,” she said. “It helps to have somebody on your side in any area of health.”
Pharmacy clinics are part of a growing trend in health care and serve a need, according to Angela Mattie, Quinnipiac University’s chair of the department of health management.
“We as patients want the flexibility that fits in with our crazy, busy schedules,” she said. “There’s a demand from patients to have the flexibility that, coupled with the growing shortage of primary care physicians, makes this the right option.”
Mattie added it also makes more sense for people to go to a walk-in clinic for care for minor things like sore throats, rather than to go to an emergency room at a hospital.
“It’s the right alternative,” she said. “It’s a much more appropriate use of resources.”
The clinics are open seven days a week and take all major insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, McGuire said.
Because of state laws, they can only treat patients ages 5 and up. Currently, in Connecticut, patients are equally divided among adults and children.
Though the clinics are stationed in CVS stores, prescriptions can be filled at any pharmacy.
“We know pharmacy relationships are really important to people,” McGuire said,
The walk-in clinics in Cheshire and Southington are on a first-come, first-served basis, the website said.
“We are looking at having a texting component, so you can do your shopping and then come back,” McGuire said.
Patients are also referred out to doctors in the community when the need arises, she said.
McGuire added that the main focus of the clinics is not only to provide services on a walk-in basis, but to find out the needs of individual communities and address them.
“Our goal is to help people in communities,” she said. “To provide the services that are important to them.”