Americans young and old will sometimes have health issues and suffer minor injuries in everyday life, from scraped knees to fractured bones and a nasty cold, and they often will want to find relief at an urgent care center. Many thousands of these clinics can be found across the United States, and many of them are open 24 hours a day or seven days a week, and anyone who needs to visit one can search for “urgent care clinic near me” to find such a location in a town or city. These facilities are often independent or part of a small, local network, and are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians to take care of non life-threatening illness and injury. What does it take to open such a clinic, and what can guests and patient expect when they visit one?
How to start an urgent care clinic
Opening any business is a complicated matter, but there are some general strategies one can follow when they wonder how to start an urgent care clinic. Urgent care consultants can be hired and used when an entrepreneur decides to open such a clinic, and an urgent care marketing plan can also be formulated early on to make sure that the clinic gets plenty of traffic once it opens. Urgent care business is business like any other, and someone interested in starting such a location can also consult general business advisors for opening a location.
How to start an urgent care clinic? The location is a major factor. Such a clinic might not want to be too close to other such clinics unless those existing clinics have a surplus of patients, and in this case, a new urgent care center can be set up to take care of the excess. Generally, though, “how to start an urgent care clinic” starts with opening one where there is none, such as rural areas. Although many such clinics are found across the United States, not every community might have one, so a small rural community, for example, might need one and a clinic would get a lot of traffic.
What kind of traffic might a new clinic expect? It has been shown that on average, 19% of American households visited a retail medical clinic in the past year. Retail clinics, in particular, are those that are built into major retailer such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, and this can make such clinics easier to find and get parking for, since the retailer will be set up at a busy location. These started around the year 2000, and by 2018, the number of retail clinics in the United States is four times higher than it was in 2008. Those wondering how to start an urgent care clinic may explore the option of building it into an existing business and staff with with pharmacists and nurse practitioners, and get a pharmacy installed in it.
A new urgent care clinic will want to have a good location, proper marketing, and a local need for a new urgent care center, and if everything is done right, a new clinic may have similar function and traffic as existing ones. For example, urgent care clinics may see about three patients per hour if they are running well, and a patient should expect a wait time of around 15 minutes. Such clinics may treat wounds such as broken fingers or toes, as well as stitches for cuts and ointment and medicine for rashes and allergies. Many clinics will also help with bone fractures and sprained ankles or wrists, which are common ailments today, and these clinics can also offer medicine for common illness like the cold and flu to provide relief to patients. Upper respiratory problems, which are very common, can also be treated at such a clinic, and most clinics will also have a pharmacy, whether or not they are retail clinics, and they can refill drug prescriptions for patients who visit. A clinic may be open 24 hours a day or seven days a week if it has enough staff on hand, or else it may set its hours of operation and make those hours well known, such as printing them on the front door.