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It’s 2021, and we are still working through the impact that COVID-19 has had on urgent care. Even though patient volumes have begun to stabilize, expectations have changed. As more people visited urgent cares in the last year, they arrived with demands shaped by a tech-heavy, mobile-dependent, service-now culture.

Many urgent care centers aim to deliver an exceptional patient experience. To do so in this new era means understanding how patient demands have evolved and adapting to meet them. In reviewing our data and talking to urgent care operators who have successfully pivoted to increase their center’s revenue, we’ve identified three key shifts in patient expectations.

1.      Expectations of service

In the past, expectations around healthcare delivery were still somewhat separate from that of services like food and retail. This is no longer the case. People expect convenience, affordability, and great service with minimal wait and hassle — for every product or service they pay for.

For urgent care centers, that means becoming champions of patient engagement at every level:

  • Digital engagement — People expect to be able to schedule, pay, fill prescriptions, and more all from their computer or mobile device.
  • Personal engagement —The in-person experience around place, process, and people will make or break a patient’s opinion of your urgent care.
  • Quality care — Finding ways to fold in total wellness — like with referrals, primary care, and other resources — will help support the growing number of urgent care patients who do not have a primary care provider.

To learn more about what’s expected at these three levels of engagement, and how to deliver, download the eBook How to Adapt to Meet Patient Demands in a New Era of Urgent Care >>


2.      Expectations of accessibility

COVID-19 testing and vaccinating have completely changed how people access care. From drive-up services to onsite stations, the US is now accustomed to even more convenience and accessibility, especially for services like rapid tests and immunizations.

This fits urgent care well, especially if your facility offers Occupational Medicine (OccMed). OccMed generally covers services that employers need for hiring and compliance. They include drug screening, physicals, workers compensation injury care, employee wellness programs, and worksite immunizations. Some of these could easily be done onsite — a convenience that could win you business.

And COVID-19-related services aren’t going away anytime soon. Some employers are required to test employees if there’s a COVID-19 outbreak. Education is also an industry that expects onsite testing services. The Biden Administration has recently designated a $10 billion relief package for COVID-19 testing at K-12 schools. Partnering with schools now to provide this testing when school starts again in the fall can be a mutually beneficial agreement. Learn more about how to begin a partnership with a school in chapter two of How to Adapt to Meet Patient Demands in a New Era of Urgent Care >>

3.      Online expectations

Before you can retain new patients, you need to get them through the door. While you likely have some kind of online presence, if you haven’t addressed your digital marketing strategy recently, it may not align with modern online search behaviors.

Here are four key areas to review, refresh, and/or optimize:

  • Website — Google is constantly updating its search algorithm. If you’re not current on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, you could be losing business to your competitors.
  • Paid ads — SEO is fickle, and no one ranks highly for every single relevant search term. Control fluctuating trends and show up for more keywords with hyper-focused digital paid ads.
  • Local search — People consult a variety of local search platforms for information about where to go for services, including Google and White Pages. Most are free for you to claim and optimize.
  • Reviews — You should already know the importance of reviews. Remember that this is a numbers game, and that you can improve your rating despite negative reviews with simple volume.

Learn how to get more reviews and also utilize these other digital strategies in How to Adapt to Meet Patient Demands in a New Era of Urgent Care. Download the eBook here >>

Learn even more about evolving patient demands

The insight in this blog came from the eBook How to Adapt to Meet Patient Demands in a New Era of Urgent Care. This guide teaches you about:

  • Improving the patient experience for repeat business
  • Winning business by being more accessible
  • Marketing musts for urgent care in the new era
  • Creating partnerships with vendors for mutual success

Be prepared for the new era in urgent care. Download the eBook now.


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