Frequently Asked Questions About Clinics


Clinics are healthcare facilities that focus on outpatient care, meaning patients don’t stay overnight. They offer non-emergency care such as checkups, screenings and immunizations. Medical clinics are also able to provide a wide range of specialist services like psychiatry, surgery and other types of specialty clinics. Hospitals focus on inpatient care and are usually better equipped to handle more serious or life-threatening health issues and surgeries.

A word with several definitions, the term “clinic” can refer to a medical practice, a group of physicians practicing on an organized basis with common administration and facilities; it can also mean a general or special practitioner’s office or, as in Russian, a polyclinic. The latter are large outpatient facilities that may include a number of different departments such as the reception area, the consulting rooms of the internists, surgeons and other specialists, a dental department, pharmacy, drug store, pathological laboratory, X-ray department and gymnasium.

Often staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, clinics can be found in many settings. Some are specialized in a particular field of medicine and others are part of an insurance company’s network of providers. Many clinics are located in community centers or retail locations such as pharmacies and grocery stores and are open to the public. Some are affiliated with hospitals and are known as hospital extension clinics.

There are also a number of free-standing clinics that are not associated with a hospital and are referred to as independent practices. These typically accept all forms of health insurance, making them a convenient option for those without coverage.

Clinics can also be categorized by the type of patient they see, with some focusing on children and other adults. There are also a number of mental health clinics and addiction recovery clinics that offer specific services for those suffering from these conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clinics

The first step in implementing an on-site or near-site employee clinic is creating awareness. This can be done through internal communications with employees about the benefits of a clinic, as well as through incentives. It’s important to be patient as it can take a while for employees to start using the clinic and build trust in their provider.

Once a positive experience is had by employees at the clinic, they will begin to return on their own. This will create a snowball effect where more and more employees visit the clinic, which helps to solve problems such as lengthy wait times for same-day or next-day appointments with their primary care physician. If you’re unsure of how to implement a clinic at your organization, consider working with a benefit consultant that can help create a strategy, screen providers and available offerings, and make recommendations as well as assist with implementation. They can also help craft communications to keep employee engagement high. For more information, click here.

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