(KMOX) - QuikTrip is expanding into the urgent care business. The national convenience store chain has opened one of it’s planned 15 MedWise Urgent Care locations near their headquarters in Oklahoma
“We think health care needs to re-conceptualize the experience from the eyes of the patient," said MedWise Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Aguilar. “Our goal is to take the retail principles that made QuikTrip a success in the convenience store market and apply those to health care."
MedWise is a wholly owned subsidiary of QuikTrip. Dr. Aguilar said the company opened their first clinic in Coweta, Oklahoma on Sept. 15 and they plan to open 15 total in the Tulsa area.
QuikTrip’s move to get into the health care business is part of a growing national trend in urgent care popularity. According to the Urgent Care Association, as of November 2018, the total number of urgent care centers in the U.S. reached 8,774, up eight percent from 8,125 in 2017.
Part of Dr. Aguilar job as the physician leader for MedWise is to help hire clinicians that work in the MedWise clinics. He said that having a standard of care across all their clinics is what will really set them apart.
“We are really focused entirely on how patients want to experience healthcare and how we can provide excellent quality care that closely aligns with their expectations.
Dr. Aguilar said Medwise isn’t trying to replace peoples primary care providers, he says they’re there to treat the bumps, bruises, breaks and basic illnesses of daily life.
“Medwise values the continuous longitudinal care that people receive from their primary care provider. However, when the primary care doctor is busy or closed than that is where MedWise would step in," he says.
As for when the St. Louis region will get a MedWise clinic. Dr. Aguilar said he has spent around seven years in St. Louis working at both Barnes Jewish Hospital and Washington University. He said he looks forward to the day when the St. Louis area will have a MedWise, but right now they’re focusing their efforts on the Tulsa region.
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