People in Prince Albert are always looking for family physicians and a new option is now available.
Jack Nathan Health has opened a new clinic inside the Prince Albert Walmart Supercentre, giving the community another place to find a family doctor.
The idea behind having a clinic inside a Walmart was created eight years ago, said Mike Marchelletta, co-founder and president of Jack Nathan Health.
“Next to an airport or a subway station, a Walmart Supercentre draws an incredible amount of patient flow,” Marchelletta said. “When we actually thought about the concept eight years ago, we wanted to improve access to public health care and part of that was site selection.”
Since Walmart is impeccable with site selection, Marchelletta said, they decided to get on board with the retail giant.
“There are one million Canadians that actually walk through Walmart centres every day so we thought wouldn’t it be great if we actually brought the clinic to the patient instead of the patient going to the clinic in an independent building,” Marchelletta said.
Since Walmart choses the sites where a clinic would be beneficial, Jack Nathan Health then steps in to make the clinic a reality.
“We step in and help improve income earning potential for physicians -- we help improve their quality of life and help to improve access to public health care for Canadians,” Marchelletta said. “It is going to increase the overall basket of services for the customer and the patient.”
The clinic being inside a Walmart helps not only the stress level of the patients, but also of the medical staff, Marchelletta said.
One of most stressful parts of a doctor’s office is the wait times, he indicated. To help deal with the wait times, the clinic has implemented a pager system.
“In the event of a long wait period -- say there is an hour wait period -- we will provide the patient with a paddle pager and they get to turn that one hour of downtime into uptime,” Marchelletta said. “If they have two or three kids, they could shop at the Walmart Supercentre, browse the toy aisle, the electronics aisle, pick up some groceries, and we will buzz them when it is five minutes to their turn. No longer do they have to wait in a busy patient waiting area.
“It helps lower the anxiety with anxious patients as well as clinical staff,” he added.
Another bonus for patients is the Walmart pharmacy located near the clinic.
“It does provide a one-stop shop for the patient, so should they need a script, they have the opportunity of taking 30 steps and having the script filled, instead of having to make a drive and go to a different destination to get the script filled,” Marchelletta said.
The clinic has been well received by both patients and the staff, he said.
“Both are very anxious to have it located in such a convenient location like a Walmart Supercentre,” Marchelletta said. “We are providing continued opportunities to physicians right across Canada and in many cases, we are looking to continue to invest in physicians. We are looking to improve the overall patient experience and continue that.”
Marchelletta said Jack Nathan Health hopes to continue their relationship with Walmart.
“We are currently in six provinces and are looking to expand into other provinces across Canada.”