When you’re experiencing aches and pains, do you go to a hospital or a clinic? You might be wondering, “are they the same thing?” While they may sound similar, hospitals and clinics are often different entities. So, what is the difference between the two? We break down what’s unique about independent clinics like Voyage Healthcare, their advantages for employees, providers, and patients, and we’ll also debunk some myths surrounding provider-owned health facilities.
About Independent Clinics
Most people tend to only go to a hospital (or an emergency room) when pain levels become too much, or there is a level of trauma that needs immediate care. Hospitals also include help for illnesses, surgeries, and specialist visits. For everyday ailments, people usually see their family physician, or they visit what’s called an independent clinic. Independent clinics give people the chance for preventative care with routine appointments and check-ups. Beyond that, clinics offer immunizations and may include specialist visits depending on the location.
Although some clinics may be affiliated with a particular hospital, the majority of independent clinics are provider-owned. That means, with multi-specialty healthcare clinics, they are guided by the providers who care for their patients. Provider-owned clinics deliver unique ways for personalized healthcare and medicine.
What makes clinics unique?
- Variety of Sizes and Providers
- Specialized Services
- Personalized Medicine
- Improved Engagement
- Better Patient Experience
- Less Expensive
Independent clinics vary in size, like Voyage Healthcare, who has five clinic locations throughout the northwest Twin Cities metro. Some clinics have fewer providers, while others host a large group of them depending upon the specialties.
Many locations will also support lab services onsite, so patients don’t have to go elsewhere. Beyond lab work, they may include x-rays and MRI’s, among other digital imagery work. Typically, many independent clinics are less expensive for patients due to lower overall costs.
While both hospitals and clinics offer a range of services and specialties, choosing an independent clinic presents a broader list of benefits.
Advantages of Independent Clinics
There are many reasons why someone might opt to go to a separate location over a hospital or “name brand” medical provider. Below, we list a few benefits of a provider-owned facility for staff, providers, and patients.
- Accessibility to organizational layers
- Opportunity for more involvement within the clinic
- Greater engagement with providers and committees
- Quickly remedy issues
- More likely to be heard
- Family-like connection
- Greater autonomy for practice
- Opportunity for involvement within the business
- Ability to impact the clinic in a positive way
- Included in decision-making
- Referrals for patients within the clinic and not elsewhere
- Freedom to help patients throughout their choices
- Improved care
- Reduced costs
- Referrals to specialty care within the clinic system
- More personalized attention provided
- Improved patient ownership of their health
- Healthcare decisions made by the patient and their doctor, not a larger entity
3 Independent Clinic Myths: Debunked!
Now that we know the benefits of independent clinics, there’s still some myths out there, and it’s time to debunk them.
Myth 1: Corporate clinics are better than independent clinics.
While there are benefits for both corporate and independent clinics, it’s all based on personal preference. Keep in mind that provider-owned clinics are going to establish long standing bonds and a more family-like community for patients.
Myth 2: Independent providers do more than their counterparts at larger health systems.
While it’s known that providers at independent clinics tend to work in more multifaceted roles, they don’t necessarily do more work than others at larger health systems. Provider-owned clinics tend to focus on patients and their needs more while developing a bond.
Myth 3: Provider-owner clinics don’t have a wide selection of health services.
Contrary to popular belief, many provider-owned clinics do offer more services than just family care. Not only can independent clinics provide primary and preventative care, but they also can have more select specialty care.
Quality Primary Care and Much More
Whether you go to a hospital or a clinic, finding care for your ailments is key to getting better. Voyage Healthcare is one of the leading independent clinics serving patients throughout the northwest metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul.