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Retail Health is a $3.4 billion market... and a headache to book (sometimes)

When the CVS MinuteClinic first launched, it felt like a concept some people struggled to accept… and now they are so overbooked you can’t get an appointment. While MinuteClinic growth hasn’t necessarily matched the expectations targeted in earlier years, retail healthcare is a strong marketplace and one that CVS is continuing to invest in. CEO Karen Lynch commented in August 2022 that they plan to pursue primary a stake in the primary care space.

That being said, CVS has an opportunity to improve their MinuteClinic digital customer experience.

  • 📆 Finding an appointment

  • 🔁 Proposed flows

  • 🗂️ Highlighting Health Dashboard

📅 Finding an appointment

The CVS retail health model has a few different starting points. There is validity for modified flows based on staffing and regulations. However, the lack of consistency across experiences creates unnecessary and disruptive friction. The greatest opportunity for streamlining exists in the MinuteClinic flow.

  • Vaccines (Covid, Flu, etc)

  • Remote health

  • MinuteClinic

The primary challenges with the existing experience are that it is challenging to find the soonest available appointment near a location. This is a use case that has been addressed with the vaccine intake flow. It is a bit perplexing why a similar intake experience is not consistent across the digital experience. It is potentially likely that the vaccines and MinuteClinics have different regulations and staffing resources databases, however that does not seem to be enough for the friction.

🔁 Proposed Flows

There are two proposed flows below that address the two core use cases. Each option requires varying degrees of refactoring, engineering and design investment.

Option 1 - Align with the vaccine flow

This option is the most straightforward and would require the least amount of design and refactoring.

  • Ability to show availability by zip code and day versus by clinic

  • Enable users to more easily find available appointments by seeing inventory across clinics on the same page

While the vaccine flow saves 2-3 steps, the primary gain is the reduction in iteration to find an appointment.

Option 2 - Improve current MinuteClinic search

This option provides greater user value by surfacing clinic availability more visually and earlier. While it would be ideal to continue to build on the vaccine flow (option 1), the map visual could be a standalone feature.

  • Ability to see clinic availability at a glance

  • Enable users to more easily find available appointments by seeing inventory across clinics on the same page

The availability indicator could act as a component to be leveraged across the site experience. MinuteClinic appointments are generally available for no more than 2 days ahead. Users that are looking for clinic availability generally have a feeling of urgency. Do they need to see someone now/today? Or can it wait up to 48 hrs? The stoplight style icons provide immediate insight.

Option 3: Bare Minimum

If for some reason, the digital experience needs to stay as close to it is, there are some bare minimum fixes that would make for a more functional user experience.

  1. Only display clinics that have availability

  2. Calculate the clinic distance from the entered zip code, not the selected clinic.

This is very confusing display behavior and results in the user potentially moving further and further away from their intended search area. The only way to get back to the closest clinic might be to start the search over.

🗂️ Other opportunities?

Highlighted Health Dashboard

Given the increased investment and activity for retail health, the existing dashboard could be providing more user value. It is currently a bit buried in the site. Additionally, it does not seem to accurately show upcoming appointments resulting in potentially patients not showing up unintentionally.

Store kiosk

CVS is a big corporation but slip ups like the one below are silly. When a store visitor is using the kiosk, the clinic distances are being shown with 15 decimals and no space. [Picture is from 1/1/2023 Rockland Massachusetts location]



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