The proliferation of urgent care centers in the U.S underscores one very pleasing fact: urgent care centers are a profitable venture. And while normal hospitals serve their purpose well, urgent care centers are more patient-oriented and convenient. This attribute makes urgent care clinics a preferred choice for Americans, who hate having to wait for hours to see a doctor.
Urgent care clinics are also cheaper for patients. Treatment in clinics is on average 30% to 40% cheaper than visiting a physician’s office, but this doesn’t translate to any loss on the clinic’s part.
Starting an Urgent Care ClinicHow to start an urgent care clinic correctly has been a subject of debate by many health executives. While there’s no definite way around the matter, there are a few factors you should consider beforehand:
Location is arguably the most important factor to consider when starting an urgent care center and for good reason. The location of your urgent care clinic will play a crucial part in the success of your venture. The clinic’s location will determine how convenient your urgent care center is for prospective clients. It will also determine what demographic your customer base is, which directly relates to how much your customers are willing to spend. Setting up your clinic in a mall or near any retail establishment is never a bad idea. You can also set up shop near a major highway to enhance visibility and attract traveling clients.
You have to comply with the relevant governing bodies, or you risk closure, fines, and penalties. It is important to have a firm understanding of the regulations stipulated by these bodies. CLIA, OSHAA, and HIPAA are examples of authorities with regulations that need to be strictly followed.
Assessing a venture’s profitability is an important and sensible step for any business. It makes sense to conduct a thorough feasibility study before pouring your resources into an urgent care center. There are plenty of firms who can conduct this study and present a financial pro forma for your scrutiny. This pro forma will help you determine whether establishing an urgent care clinic is worth the time and money.
4. Clinic Staff
Your staff is a huge asset when it comes to your urgent care startup. With that in mind, you should take extra care when choosing your staff before starting your clinic. Thorough background checks and speaking with references can help you know your staff better, subsequently leading to a more connected and familiar work environment.
As the influx of patients gradually increases, remember to hire more staff to meet the patient volumes. Failure to do so may cause delays, which can cause all sorts of issues. You should also update your payroll accordingly, and never underpay your staff.
A practical and comprehensive urgent care center marketing strategy is paramount to the success of your establishment. After you’ve set up your clinic, it’s important to get the word out, so your potential clients are in the know. Depending on your marketing strategy, you can use a variety of marketing tools at your disposal. Banners, posters, and brochures are a great place to start. Social media is also the perfect platform to advertise your services and get people talking.
What Are You Waiting For?Taking heed of these few factors increases your chances of success in your new healthcare venture. Remember, just like any business, an urgent care center takes time to pick, so patience is imperative for ultimate profitability.
SWOT analysis is a highly effective tool that is employed by many successful urgent care centers to assist in strategic planning and to analyze the company’s progress. At a leadership position, health executives should get acquainted with this powerful tool to increase productivity and boost their staff morale.
This article will discuss one of the most effective marketing strategies for urgent care centers and how healthcare executives can apply them in their urgent care businesses.
What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is the abbreviation for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. As the name suggests, this technique comprehensively examines a business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to give the business a sense of direction in their strategic planning.
A SWOT analysis helps identify the specific objectives of your urgent care center and explores the stepping stones and hindrances towards achieving these objectives. The method is exhaustive and hence covers both internal and external factors that contribute to a company’s performance, making it among the best marketing strategies for urgent care centers.
How Healthcare Executives Can Use SWOT Analysis Effectively
For a proper SWOT analysis, the executive can gather a few people to represent each wing of the care center. These few staff members can act as representatives of their respective sections.
Have a sit down in a quiet but comfortable room with the selected group and hand out note pads and pens all around. Have them write down general ideas about the center’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as they perceive them. These ideas can be gathered either individually or from a discussion as you see fit.
After about ten to twenty minutes of brainstorming on ideas, have the group forward the written ideas to you so you can group them according to their respective categories. You can stick them on the wall so that any additions can be added if necessary. Sometimes one person’s idea can spark another brilliant one from another.
You can then vote the priority of the written ideas in order of their importance but under their respective categories. One by one, collectively explore these ideas intricately and find out ways to leverage your strengths and work on weaknesses. Also, identify the hidden opportunities and the most imminent threats to the center’s success. The process should take no more than two hours entirely.
Forward the findings to the administrative wing of the urgent care clinic so they can chart the best way forward.
Guiding Questions for SWOT Analysis
Practical guiding questions are essential for the success of the SWOT analysis. Here are a few questions to give your staff direction based on the SWOT model.
All in all, SWOT analysis brings to the table an in-depth examination centered on bolstering your business’s growth by coming up with an effective strategy. Apart from the method discussed above, there are other ways to carry out SWOT analysis depending on your staff and resources with pretty much the same result. You can even try SWOT analysis for urgent care startups and optimize it for your particular service. SWOT analysis is certainly among the best growth marketing strategies for urgent care centers and other businesses alike.
Did you know that the first retail medical clinic in the U.S. opened in 2000? The market for medical clinics has grown exponentially since then. So much so that you might be considering opening one yourself. If your mind is made up, you'll need help from an urgent care business consulting firm.
You're probably also looking for some tips to help you get started. We're here to help you out.
Understand the Purpose of Urgent Care
Some of the factors that might drive you to open an urgent care center include the need to meet a need in the community or improve on the services offered in your local area. The true purpose of an urgent care center should not be to replace the existing primary care providers or negate the importance of the emergency room but to bridge the gap between the two while providing service at an affordable rate for patients.
Consider Who Your Primary Demographic Will Be
Another important factor to keep in mind is your primary patient demographic. It's fairly common to have a pediatric urgent care clinic, especially if you're a pediatrician who wants to cater to children's needs. But if you want your primary patient base to be adults, it's important to formulate your business strategy with that in mind. During your urgent care business consulting process, you'll be able to review all of this information.
Be Aware of Common Challenges
When you want to start a successful urgent care center, it's important to be aware of common challenges. One of the most common challenges is determining what your hours will be. Most urgent care business consulting professionals may recommend strategies to help you determine the best solution for your situation. Staffing and inventory management are two other common challenges you might run into if this is the first medical clinic you've ever opened.
For the best assistance addressing these challenges, it's essential to work with urgent care business consulting professionals. They're typically in a good position to help you determine things like urgent care start-up costs and other challenges listed above.
If there's anything you should take away from this blog, it's that developing a business strategy with an urgent care business consultant is key to starting a successful retail medical clinic. The vast majority of startups fail due to a lack of preparation. With these tips and the help of your urgent care business consultant, you should be on the path to medical clinic success in no time.