Welcome to our six-part blog series on mistakes you should avoid when you’re opening your urgent care. DocuTAP has helped many urgent cares get off the ground, so we know the classic missteps that can trip beginners up. Opening an urgent care requires due diligence in upfront planning for long-term success.
Before opening your urgent care clinic, read the most common mistakes we see made—and know what to avoid, so you don’t have to learn the hard way.
Mistake 1: Not Planning Ahead or Having the Correct Expertise
While it may seem obvious, many clinics say that starting an urgent care takes advance planning (at least a year or more) and requires personnel knowledge in both business and healthcare. Often, clinic owners have expertise in one of these two areas. To give a balanced approach, adding a partner or hiring experienced consultants can help counter areas of inexperience.
A pro forma is required for loan financing, but outlined business and marketing plans are essential, especially in the first years of operation. Experienced clinics advise that you should be prepared to run at a loss (insurance reimbursements can take months)—and to have working capital to get you through the early stages of business. Hiring the correct employees that fit your clinic’s mission will help prevent time-consuming re-hiring. In addition, careful selection of staffing models is recommended as hiring choices determine when a clinic will turn a profit.
Human resource requirements, payroll, employee training programs, and policy and procedures are all vital areas a new clinic should be prepared to research and understand. To help guide new clinics, the Urgent Care Association of America offers a Policy and Procedure Manual
with sample templates, so clinic administrators don’t have to write documentation from scratch.
Bottom line: Start with experience in both business and healthcare, have a business plan, and take time to hire the correct personnel and consultants.
Stay tuned to read the next mistake to avoid, we’ll post a misstep to avoid every couple of weeks. All you urgent care veterans, what are some things you’d do differently if you started another urgent care? Let us know in the comments.