You’ve been sick for a few days and it feels like it might be strep throat. You could call your primary care doc for an appointment. You could visit an urgent care facility. You could even go to an emergency room. Or you could head to the new “Minute Clinic” inside the CVS Pharmacy at 1285 South County Trail.
The clinic opened up Dec. 19, the fifth one in Rhode Island (there are more than 900 nationwide).
The typical sorts of issues you might go to a Minute Clinic to address are ear infections, rashes, coughs, colds, minor wounds, strep throat, vaccinations and diabetes monitoring. They don’t take x-rays or do stitches – so these clinics are not ER or urgent care substitutes, Smith said.
According to Cheryl Smith, Minute Clinic practice manager for Rhode Island, the clinic is meant to be “an affordable, convenient option for folks who can’t get into their primary care doctor.”
Prices vary depending on insurance coverage but Smith said most insurers require the same co-pay as would be charged by your primary care doctor. Prices are shown on a screen in the waiting area.
The convenience comes because the clinic is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5:30 Sundays.
“About 50 percent of the people we see come nights and weekends,” said Smith.
The sign-in kiosk at the Minute Clinic inside the CVS at 1285 South County Trail.
You don’t make an appointment at a MinuteClinic. Rather, you show up and log in at a kiosk in the clinic, identifying the general reason why you are there, and you will get an estimated wait time.
Staffers in the clinic are either nurse practitioners or physician assistants. In addition to the clinic in East Greenwich, CVS clinics in Cranston, Wakefield, North Smithfield and Woonsocket, with two more slated to open in 2015.