New clinic aims to save workers' sick time

Posted at 5:24 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 20:24:57-05

Many full-time workers are on the clock at the same time the doctor's office is open, but the newest clinic from Scripps Health could help employees get care without taking time off.

Scripps is opening a clinic in one of San Diego's biggest office complexes in University City, in the UTC area.

Kayla Francis works 40 hours a week as a marketing coordinator and has a one-year-old son. She said she's "constantly trying not to get sick and building those immunities."

Francis said she still hasn't gotten a flu shot, telling 10News, "It's hard to take time off."

Francis is about to lose that excuse because nine floors below her office and one building over in the same complex is a new clinic from Scripps Health that offers flu shots, physicals, health screenings and diagnostic tests. Most of the care will be through nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

"You could just take the elevator down and get everything done," Francis said.

The average full-time worker in the U.S. is now spending 43 hours a week on the job, leaving little time to go to the doctor.

This clinic, called Scripps Express, is the health system's solution.

"They can leave work very conveniently during a break or lunch, be able to see a health care professional and get a prescription or the medical care that they need," said Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder.

The clinic is in a complex in the UTC area owned by The Irvine Company.

The idea was inspired by tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook, who offer health services on their campuses.

"Providing that gives the employees a reason to come and stay and not have to leave and take time off," said Steve Case, executive vice president of The Irvine Company.

Van Gorder said this is a pilot project, so Scripps Health will be monitoring to see what should be next.

He said, however, that there are talks with The Irvine Company about a second county location, but no decisions on a site.

The Irvine Company also has office properties in downtown San Diego, Sorrento Valley and Mission Valley.

Francis checked out the Scripps Express clinic for the first time Tuesday. She said she'll be back for more, including that flu shot.

"Yes, exactly," she said. "There is no excuse now. I know where to go."