Convenient Care Association issues quality and safety standards for retail clinics
To ensure consistent, high-quality care at retail health care clinics nationwide, the Convenient Care Association (CCA), the non-profit organization for the Convenient Care Industry (CCI), has issued 10 mandatory standards of care for its member organizations that operate more than 300 retail clinics in 21 states. Members have committed to using electronic health records software in their clinics and to share the records in paper or electronic formats with patients’ primary care physicians and hospitals.

“While many in the greater medical community, including the AMA, AAFP, and AAP, have issued guidelines for the Convenient Care Industry to aspire to, the Board of the Convenient Care Association has adopted 10 official standards, thereby moving beyond guidelines, to ensure high-quality care and safety for all patients,” said Hal F. Rosenbluth, President of the CCA, as reported by Philadelphia dBusinessNews.

The clinics also have pledged to use evidence-based treatment guidelines and will provide patients with written instructions and educational materials upon discharge. Members of the Philadelphia-based association will collect more data on quality and safety outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Members of the CCA that have pledged to support, adopt and abide by new mandatory standards include: AtlantiCare HealthRite, Aurora QuickCare, CareClinic, CareWorks Convenient Health Care (a service of Geisinger Medical System,) CheckUps, Early Solutions Clinic, Express Clinics, HealthStop, Lindora Health Clinic, MedPoint Express, MedBasics, My Healthy Access, QuickClinic, Quick Health, RediClinic, Sutter Express Care, and Take Care Health Systems.

Convenient Care Quality and Safety Standards

To ensure the highest quality of patient care and safety, Convenient Care Association members have committed to the following standards:

1. All providers will be thoroughly credentialed for license, training and experience, with rigorous background checks to verify training and licensing.

2. All CCA Members are committed to monitoring quality on an ongoing basis, including but not limited to:
  • a) peer review;
  • b) collaborating physician review;
  • c) use of evidence-based guidelines;
  • d) collecting aggregate data on selected quality and safety outcomes;
  • e) collecting patient satisfaction data.
3. All CCA Members build relationships with traditional health care providers and hospitals, and work towards a goal of using EHRs to share patient information and ensure continuity of care.

4. All CCA Members are committed to encouraging patients to establish a relationship with a primary-care provider, and to making appropriate and careful referrals for follow-on care and for conditions that are outside of the scope of the clinic's services.

5. All CCA Members are in compliance with applicable OSHA, CLIA, HIPAA, and ADA standards. All CCA Members follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for infection control through handwashing.

6. All CCA Members provide health promotion and disease prevention education to patients. All CCA Members provide written instructions and educational materials to patients upon leaving the clinic.

7. All CCA Members use Electronic Health Records (EHR) to ensure high-quality efficient care. All CCA Members are committed to providing all patients with the opportunity to share health information with other providers electronically or in paper format.

8. All CCA Members provide an environment conducive to quality patient care and meet standards for infection control and safety.

9. All CCA Members will establish emergency response procedures and develop relationships with local emergency response service providers to ensure that patients in need of emergency care can be transported to an appropriate setting as quickly as possible.

10. CCA Members empower patients to make informed choices about their health care. Prices for services provided at Convenient Care Clinics are readily available in a visible place outside of the examination room. Providers discuss what impact, if any, the provision of additional services will have on the ultimate cost to the patient.