There’s a new front door to the U.S. health care system, and it’s not your hospital’s emergency department or doctors' offices.

A new report, released Wednesday by Oliver Wyman, says it’s actually retail health clinics, located down the street at places like Walgreens and CVS. While some docs may believe that there’s no comparison between the two types of visits, interviews with 2,000 individuals show that consumers feel differently.  

Nearly 80 percent of those polled said the experience was the same or better than that of a traditional doctor’s office, and about 30 percent of consumers said the experience was “better” or “much better.” Consumer interest in retail health clinics is clearly on the upswing, with one-quarter of patients polled saying they’ve used one, an 11 percent increase from the previous survey in 2013.

“Consumers have spoken; the new front door is here,” Graegar Smith, principal in Oliver Wyman’s Health & Life Sciences practice, said in a press release. “Now it’s up to health care providers, insurers and retailers to build it in a way that has meaning, impact and value.”

During a presentation at the American College of Healthcare Executives 2016 Congress, Andrew Sussman, M.D., executive vice president and associate chief medical officer of CVS Health, told hospital leaders how the company plans to do so. The nation’s largest retail clinic chain, with more than 1,135 locations in 33 states, has been in rapid expansion mode in recent years. And they’re not providing care in a silo by any means, as they’ve formed 70 partnerships with health systems across the country and implemented the use of Epic electronic health record systems to coordinate care with those organizations.

Get the rest of the story, “5 Implications for Hospitals Now that Retail is Health Care’s New Front Door,” from our sister magazine, Hospital & Health Networks.