Todd Sloanes July 16 editorial, Another turf war (subscription required), is completely off-base. Ensuring that all patients have timely access to high-quality healthcare is a top priority for physicians, and we support the safe operation of store-based clinics.
We recognize store-based health clinics can be a good option for patients looking for a flu shot or quick evaluation of whether or not a sore throat is strep throat, but we cannot allow haste to compromise the safety and quality of care for patients.
The American Medical Association developed principles for the operation of store-based clinics to ensure patient safety and the continuity of care. These principles include ensuring appropriate physician oversight and establishing a referral system for when symptoms require care beyond what can be provided at the clinic.
These are guidelines for operation that are meant to protect patients. Physician offices must operate under federal regulations, and high standards of care should be followed and expected whether healthcare is delivered at your doctors office or at a store-based clinic.
We want patients to have access to the healthcare they need when they need it, and will continue working to ensure that any facility that provides healthcare services is operating at the highest possible level.
Edward LangstonBoard chairman American Medical Association Chicago