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The Little Clinic opens in Kroger Marketplace

The Little Clinic, a retail health clinic, has opened its doors in Kroger Marketplace, staffed by a nurse practitioner.

“We are urgent but not emergent care: we do your basic sore throats, colds, fevers, chills … almost all immunizations, flu shots and vaccines,” Pamela Thompson, regional manager, said.

“There is usually no wait to be seen … if you are the first patient here, you are going to be seen within five minutes. Usually, you are out of here within 15 to 20 minutes,” she added.

The Little Clinic performs testing for illnesses such as strep throat, flu and mononucleosis, and the nurse practitioner can write prescriptions if necessary.

These types of tests, Thompson said, prevent unnecessary, or at least non-emergency, trips to the ER.

“You hate to take little Johnny to the E-R because it’s Saturday and … where are you going to go? Your pediatrician’s closed and you’d be in the E-R for hours,” Thompson said.

If patients have more serious or chronic problems, The Little Clinic staff can refer them to a primary care physician, if they do not already have one.

“We are adjunct primary care. We do not want to take the place of primary care; we want to sync with their primary care physicians,” Thompson said.

“We want [patients] to follow up with their primary care, you know, within the next week or so if they can,” she added, to ensure medical records were up-to-date, no matter where patients are treated.

“We want to get people to the places they need to be. If they need to be seen by a specialist, we can make those referrals also,” Thompson said, adding The Little Clinic staff also recommends ER visits if necessary, even calling 911.

The Little Clinic, similar to hospitals and many physicans’ offices, uses electronic medical records.

Appointments are not required and most insurance plans are accepted, although The Little Clinic also accepts a $59 “prompt pay.” The Little Clinic accepts patients over 1 year old, but does not treat pregnant women.

This is the first Little Clinic location in Knoxville, with another planned to open off Clinton Highway in a few months.

The first Little Clinic opened inside Kroger supermarkets in Louisville, Ky., in 2003. Kroger Marketplace’s Little Clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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