Our ultimate goal for growing volume in an urgent care center is positioning the center as a trusted resource in the community. If people come to the center and have a positive experience, they will tell people and the center volume will grow. Be sure that your team is friendly, billing practices are fair, and that patients leave feeling they got excellent care. How do you get those early patients in the door though? Google and social media searches, physician outreach, and community outreach are the keys.
You need a simple and easy-to-navigate website with all the important information about your urgent care center – where you are, hours, insurances accepted, and preferably wait times. Include common ailments that your urgent care center treats.
Let’s talk social and let’s talk moms. Moms are your best audience. They manage their kid’s care, their own care, and often their spouse’s care. They talk to each other and you better believe they talk doctors and especially urgent care. If a mom has a great experience, she will tell other moms. If she has a bad experience, she’ll probably tell even more. So, you’ll want a strong social media presence to attract everyone, but moms for sure. And, you should consider going deeper than just having a presence. Consider joining some of the community groups and engaging in dialogue. Don’t lurk. Engage. Most communities have a Moms of InsertCityName Facebook page, NextDoor, and community conversation pages. If you live in the community and fit into the criteria to join, do it. Then, when people are asking about school physicals, flu, the best pediatric ENT in town, where to go for an x-ray, talk to them! Share your knowledge. Don’t sell your urgent care center, but don’t be afraid to let them know if you provide the needed service.
Physicians in the community can be great referrals for an urgent care center if approached correctly. Let them know you won’t overcharge, overtreat, and that you’ll send their patients and reports back to them. Your center is open when their office is closed, so if you can build a trustful relationship, your center becomes a great after-hours spot for their patients.
Become a trusted resource in the community to ensure the success of your urgent care center. It goes back to the mom concept, but is just casting a wider net.
Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce. Most do free ribbon cuttings, which is a great way to get people to your center. Or, participate in events without joining. Show up with business cards and ask lots of questions about everyone else’s business. Seek to learn and engage, not just promote the center.
Schools are great for outreach. Seek to be a resource for teams, school nurses, PTOs (a lot of moms there) by providing free educational talks, articles, school physicals, flu shots, and other services they need.
Employers are a great place to find insured patients that work and may even live close to your center. Be a resource for occupational medicine, health talks, flu shots, and participate in their health fair. If they don’t have one, help them put it together.
Community groups are a great place to engage with the community and set yourself up as a trusted resource. Some to look for include women’s clubs, business networking groups, senior groups, Rotary, kids sports associations, Lions clubs, and Assistance Leagues.