The Healthcare Practice Group of Cushman & Wakefield recently published a white paper entitled “Heading to the Mall for Healthcare?“, which explores the nuances of some future trends in healthcare and retail space. It explores the historical barriers to entry along with some of the contemporary and shifting enablers. What is changing? Why should healthcare organizations care? How is this consistent with health reform trends?
Retail has been a topic of discussion in healthcare for some time now. This has included improving the culture of healthcare by adopting some attributes from retail as well as reorienting space to provide an experience that meets the dynamics of retail criteria (e.g., convenience). More recently, retail has been strictly associated with retail clinics located within retail establishments (e.g. CVS, Walmart). Despite this attention in articles and seminars, it has generally been difficult for a retail mindset to gain traction in most healthcare organizations. Patient-centered care has also entered the lexicon but the connection of the patient to retail has been lacking. Yet, a retail orientation is destined to be more broadly implemented than as just an “inside-out” component in a drug store or department store chain.
A number of factors are converging that should provide the impetus for healthcare services to occupy what has traditionally been classified as non-service retail space. Changes in the economy, shifts in consumer spending patterns, an aging population and the rise of eCommerce are all leading to innovative placements of future healthcare delivery sites.