If your neighborhood demographic is typical, it’s likely that you’ve seen dozens of urgent care startups over the past few years. The once rare urgent care center has become nearly ubiquitous in and around U.S. cities over the past 19 years. The very first urgent care startup opened its doors in Minnesota in 2000; as of 2018, there were nearly 3,000 urgent care businesses open throughout the country. Nearly 20% of U.S. families reported using an urgent care clinic in the last year. Those numbers are likely to increase in the following year as new urgent care startups emerge and their convenience, quality, and availability become better known.
While a great deal of business directed toward urgent care centers is for minor illnesses, injuries, and ailments, or to expedite seeing a doctor for preexisting or emergent conditions, there are other services available about which the clientele of your urgent care startup may be unaware and find very convenient.
Families grow accustomed to the perennial physical examinations that clear their children for sports and other school or community activities. It is widely assumed that these examinations require contacting the family physician, making appointments weeks or even months in advance, and then juggling schedules to accommodate the appointments. Not to mention copays and deductibles. But your urgent care startup can be a convenient answer for them: it is common for urgent care centers to perform preparticipation examinations for walk-in clients. No scheduling weeks ahead, no wonky and inconvenient times, no shoehorning between soccer practice and dance class: clients in your community can simply walk into your urgent care startup when they have time for a physical examination (and a reasonable wait). Be sure that promoting this highly convenient service is part of the urgent care marketing plan for your urgent care startup.
Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections
Many urgent care clinics offer this vital service. Some clients -- especially adult children living at home, or minors depending on privacy laws in your area -- may be less comfortable visiting the family physician or medical practice if they suspect that they’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or infection. For others, haste may be an issue, as it’s important to begin treatment for such infections as early as possible but that's not always an option when scheduling with a primary care physician’s practice. Also, some of these kinds of infections can remain latent for long periods of time, presenting no noticeable symptoms, although they are contagious. So the ability to visit an urgent care clinic at any time for regular testing is important not just to your clientele, but also to public health.
Injuries Requiring Extended Care
Many among your clientele will consider visiting an urgent care clinic to confirm a non-invasive injury is just that: a sprain, a strain, arthritis, a severe contusion. For lacerations and clear or suspected minor fractures, however, they may believe they need to seek care elsewhere, which isn’t so. Your urgent care startup can treat fractures, perform x-ray scans, set bones, splint, cast, and much more. Urgent care clinics can also apply stitches to lacerations, and remove them. And time-sensitive minor procedures such as cast and stitch removal can be done on your clients’ schedules. Promoting this convenience should definitely be on your urgent care startup checklist.
Your Urgent Care StartupUrgent care clinics are becoming big parts of communities. They are important to public health and to peace of mind. They help your clientele to stretch their health care budgets and keep their lives full and their families healthy. Be sure that they are informed about these three valuable services that your urgent care startup can offer.
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