What Urgent Care Startup’s Should Know About Patient Safety

What Urgent Care Startup’s Should Know About Patient Safety

When thinking about starting an urgent care, there are hundreds of tasks that need to get done. From finding the right location to finalizing the business plan, there is so much to think through and prepare for.

Making sure that your urgent care is actively preventing patient injury is important to the growth and sustainability of your center. March 10th-16th is Patient Safety Awareness Week, where the Institute for Healthcare Improvement brings the prevention of patient injury in healthcare environments to the forefront. Here are just two small ways your urgent care center staff members can help make sure patients are kept safe from sickness.

  1. Staff Hygiene

Even though hand washing and disinfecting is vital to the health and wellness of patients, there are still healthcare workers who don’t wash their hands as often as they should. A 2015 study found that just 40% of hospital workers followed hand-hygiene policies, putting patients at risk.

To help encourage regular hand disinfecting, keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer around your urgent care, even investing in personal hand-sanitizer for each staff member. Even though it might sound costly, studies have shown that when presented with more opportunities to use hand-sanitizer, staff members are more likely to be active in disinfecting their hands.  

2. Immunizations

Another way to make sure that your urgent is taking all the necessary precautions for patient safety is to encourage staff members to get immunized. This is especially important during the flu season, as it helps stop the spread of the flu from patient to patient. Other immunizations recommended for healthcare personnel is Tdap, MMR (two doses), Hep B, and Varicella (two doses).

We believe that patient safety is the foundation of a great urgent care. By taking the necessary precautions with staff members, you can have peace of mind knowing that patients will be well cared for and will be well on their way to feeling better.

 

Qualities an Urgent Care Startup Owner Should Have

Qualities an Urgent Care Startup Owner Should Have

When you make the decision to go out on the limb and start an urgent care, there is a lot to consider. Not only is it developing a business plan, but it is also providing excellent care with quick turnaround time.

As with any startup, when you first start the process, things are exciting. You finally get to see years of hard work come to fruition and set plans in motion. However, many people step into the urgent care industry without fully realizing that it takes a person with certain qualities to make sure your urgent care is headed in the right direction. Here are 2 qualities we believe set apart the best from the average startups.

The Ability To Adapt

Humanity has been able to survive because of our ability to adapt and evolve. What is going to set you apart from other urgent care startups is the capability to change at a moments notice and make circumstances work in your favor. While there is plenty to plan for and get a head start on, there will always be inevitable roadblocks that will require quick thinking.

As a startup owner, your leadership skills will be honed and sharpened, especially in this one particular area. There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to your urgent care startup. Roles and titles are more fluid, people fill in gaps where needed, and you learn to push the limits of conventional business styles. Even though adapting to circumstances can be difficult, it will ultimately result in your team becoming more efficient and productive.

The Power to Focus

During the early stages of your startup, you will need an immense amount of focus in order to make sure your urgent care is staying on track. Prioritizing what your business goals are, and being reminded of those goals daily, will help you know what tasks are worth doing.

Research suggests that the art of focus is not necessarily the absence of distractions, but the ability to quickly and precisely say “no” to other things that will try to take up your time. As an early startup, achieving all the goals you may have will come with time, but having the capability to say “no” to work that does not ladder up to your business goals will help you sharpen your focus skills.  

Here at UCC, our main priority is making sure that your urgent care venture is a success. Call us today for a free consultation!

 

Pediatric Urgent Care

Pediatric Urgent Care

Urgent care has proven to be a convenient and useful healthcare option for individuals and their family members.  That said, urgent care consumers value providers that specialize in the type of care they are seeking. The movement has resulted in the upsurge of specialized urgent care models.  Pediatric urgent care is one specialized model that is rapidly growing in both popularity and numbers as parents seek out providers that understand pediatric patients.

Why is pediatric urgent care flourishing and rapidly growing, you ask?  Pediatric urgent care has gained momentum as parents pursue care from clinicians with extensive knowledge geared toward their children.  Pediatric urgent care staff members have additional training and resources in treating and interacting with children. The clinic is also designed to be inviting and visually appealing for children, resulting in a more comfortable visit for patients and their families. 

So what can be done to better equip a current urgent care for the pediatric patient?  There are many resources for educating providers and other staff members on pediatric topics:

  • Attend industry conferences, such as the Urgent Care Association Fall Convention, which includes a special pediatric urgent care track to gain knowledge on new pediatric practices. 
  • The Society for Pediatric Urgent Care and PM Pediatrics host separate annual conferences that provide valuable and informative sessions on new equipment, instruments, processes and more. 
  • Encourage providers to educate themselves on pediatric matters by attending CME sessions and programs. 
  • Create standing operating procedures for the pediatric patient to build confidence in staff and maintain consistency in the patient experience. 
  • Design one or two exam rooms for children, such as adding cartoon clings or painting a mural on one wall, to help the pediatric patient feel at ease in the center. 
  • Finally, strategic marketing to local schools and places that families frequent will spread the word that your urgent care is prepared to treat adult and pediatric patients equally. 

Continually pursuing knowledge and training for pediatric patients will help set your urgent care apart.

Clean Urine Collection for a UTI

Clean Urine Collection for a UTI

One of the most common reasons that people visit an urgent care center is for urinary tract infections. While the procedure for testing and treating a UTI is simple, urgent care centers must be properly prepared to handle urine collection for UTI’s in order for labs to run an accurate test.

So what can you, as a hopeful urgent care start up or expansion, do to prepare? Here are some tips and tricks to guarantee clean urine sampling for a patient who has a UTI.

1 – Purchase the required supplies and set a standard process.
  • Be sure to have supplies on hand, such as sterile urine cups and benzokonium wipes to provide an uncontaminated test result.
2 – Make sure Urine collections are uncontaminated during the collection
  • The best way to insure that all urine collections for UTIs are not contaminated by surface bacteria is to provide clear communication between staff members and patients. This can take shape in many forms, such as written guidelines or procedures. Note: There is a difference between male and female urine collections, for additional resources, click here.
3 – Proper Urine Storage
  • If the collected urine is going to arrive at the lab resource the same day, it is okay to store at room temperature. However, if it is going to be longer than 12 hours before the specimen arrives at the lab, store in a refrigerated area. This will make sure that all urine specimens are properly tested with the best results.

As the experts in urgent care, we are here to help you! Whether you want to start your own urgent care or expand, we will make sure you are winning every step of the way.

 

Suboxone in the Urgent Care Setting

Suboxone in the Urgent Care Setting

Addiction treatment has become a hot topic as more and more people find themselves looking for options to treat addiction. There are many ways to treat drug addictions; one of the more prevalent treatments is drug substitution, combined with other therapies and a focus on overall wellness. Suboxone treatments can be used to treat opioid addiction. With urgent care centers possessing a certain amount of agility to provide a larger scope of services, many operators are looking to these treatments as a way to drive more revenue into their centers.

National figures indicate that there are millions of people managing narcotic addictions and only 2% of physicians are properly licensed to provide suboxone treatment. Insurance coverage for these treatments is staggered and even when coverage is provided, it may be minimal. Many patients are forced to or opt to pay out of pocket for their addiction treatments, including prescription costs. With the high demand and pricing going largely unregulated, this allows for centers and physicians to set their own rates for the prescriptions and ancillary treatment services.

Careful consideration should be taken if pursuing suboxone treatment in the urgent care setting. It is recommended to establish the suboxone treatment practice as a separate entity from the urgent care. This would involve obtaining a new tax ID number, staff, marketing strategy and most importantly a separate space. The urgent care center should remain the focus of operational efforts, as it will continue to realize the bulk of the revenue. By offering service settings that are catered to both types of patients, center operations should run smoothly and provide for the convenient and discreet experience every patient will appreciate.

When it comes to additional revenue streams, it is important to consider the universal impact a new service offering may have on the existing operations.

 

Discuss Your Urgent Care Needs

Urgent Care Consultants specializes in starting urgent care centers from the ground up. Let us connect you with one of our experts today.

The Unexpected Marketing Value of Sports Physicals

The Unexpected Marketing Value of Sports Physicals

Traditional marketing tactics, such as placing billboards and radio ads, are great ways to promote your urgent care center’s services, but they can also be quite expensive. That’s why it’s important to maximize the reach of your marketing dollars by integrating grassroots marketing efforts into your marketing plan. One such tactic that has been effective for many urgent care centers is to offer sports physicals to area students.

Sports Physicals as a Marketing Tactic

It might seem like you’re just adding another service line, but the business goal of offering sports physicals isn’t actually to turn a profit. Rather, the business goal of offering sports physicals is to capture future injury and illness visits at your center. When urgent care centers invest in sports physical promotions, they typically see long-term results such as:

  • Student athletes returning annually for physicals. If a student participates in multiple activities over 6 to 12 years, they could return 20 or more times.
  • Recurring revenue from families returning with younger siblings.
  • Students returning to those same urgent care centers into their 20s and 30s.

This is because sports physicals introduce coaches, parents and student athletes to the urgent care center’s providers and services, keeping it “top-of-mind” should any of those segments experience an injury or illness later on. Within the scope of your urgent care center’s annual marketing plan, you should view sports physicals as a seasonal marketing campaign because it is a seasonal marketing tactic used to promote your center’s services.

Developing a Sports Physicals Program

When developing your sports physicals program, you’ll need to determine a variety of factors, including how much to charge, which schools to partner with, and how to build relationships with schools in your area.

What to Charge

Sports physicals aren’t usually covered by insurance, so they are typically a cash-pay service. When setting a price, watch market conditions and competitor pricing, but don’t get caught up in price wars. One urgent care center, for example, partnered with a local children’s magazine and radio station to provide free sports physicals. The short-term response was excellent, but long-term results showed that very few patients who had received free physicals returned after 12 months to seek treatment for illness or injury.

Further analysis revealed that many who had come for the free physicals traveled from low-income areas outside the center’s catchment. In other words, these families made a special trip for the free physicals. The center did a great job drawing in visits during the promotion but failed at growing future visits for illness or injury, which was the actual business goal. When considering what to charge for sports physicals, it’s best to pursue other marketing tactics if your center cannot reasonably compete with the established competition.

Building Relationships

Building relationships with coaches and athletics directors will help you get the most value out of your efforts because they will promote your center to their student athletes and their families. And any sports physicals you offer could potentially be promoted in school newsletters, websites and other school communications. There’s no magic formula for the best time to contact a coach or athletics director; the timing is unique to each program or school. However, the general recommendation is to contact athletics directors in May before school is dismissed and staff is out for the summer. The key messages you’ll want to communicate to the coach or athletics director are:

  • Your urgent care center can help ensure their student athletes are compliant
  • Your center can cater a sports physical promote to meet the specific needs of the school or athletic program
  • Your center can treat student athletes’ sport-related injuries, such as fractures, sprains, strains, cuts and abrasions
  • Your services are significantly less expensive than a hospital emergency room, and your wait times are significantly shorter
  • Your vendor partnerships will allow you to provide durable medical equipment, such as ankle braces, walker boots and wrist braces, as well as other supplies, such as first aid kits

Although most children have pediatricians who could perform their sports physicals, there’s no beating the convenience the walk-in, extended hours of an urgent care center provides. With the right partnerships and strategy in place, a sports physicals promotion can be a great way to promote your urgent care’s services to families in your community.

Discuss Your Urgent Care Needs

Urgent Care Consultants specializes in starting urgent care centers from the ground up. Let us connect you with one of our experts today.