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Do most urgent care clinics open on Christmas Day? Watch this DocuTAP DataBrief to find out.
With the holidays fast approaching, many urgent care operators are making decisions about when to be open and when to give their staff some much deserved time off.
Before you make a decision, ask yourself, “What are my patients’ expectations?”
Patient expectations drive the urgent care business, and to become the go-to clinic in your community and keep the market share you’ve worked hard to build, every decision you make should start with setting—and meeting—your patients’ expectations. This includes setting your holiday hours.
As an alternative to the emergency department of your local hospital, you’ve carved out a niche for yourself to be there for care when patients need it. Along the way, you’ve set standard hours of operation that allow you to keep that promise without negative effects on your bottom line. Can you extend those hours as a convenience to patients and as a part of your marketing strategy with the understanding that it’s possible you won’t have enough patients to realize a profit?
Being open on the holidays is really about meeting patient expectations in the short term, and building your business in the long term. The best decision will vary by market and patient base. The following are a few things to think about before you make your choice.
Every urgent care is different, with one exception. Your business is built on convenient access to healthcare when a primary care physician isn’t available, and emergency room care isn’t necessary. Your challenge is to weigh the benefits against the negative consequences and make a decision that works for you.
No matter what you decide, be sure you communicate holiday hours to current patients and the community. If you will be open, announce it loud and clear through social media, marketing outreach, and even traditional ads in local publications. Get all the leverage you can to build customer loyalty and let patients know you’re there for them when they need you—even on holidays.
For more urgent care-specific data, subscribe to the Urgent Care Quarterly.