Urgent care has been heralded for its patient-friendly (many would even say consumer-friendly) approach to providing quality care. Patients respond well to it because it’s such a contrast to what they’ve become accustomed to: long waits, brusk treatment, and generally feeling like they’re being rushed through a very important and personal experience. Having seen how well the new approach works, however, more traditional healthcare facilities are now jumping on the consumerism bandwagon. Some health systems are even taking a short cut by partnering with—or outright acquiring—existing urgent care operators who have already established that identity, as pointed out in an item recently posted on Healthcare Finance’s website. “In true partnerships, there’s capital that’s contributed, and the health system is typically leveraging the expertise of the urgent care clinics,” the article reads in part. “The system also has an opportunity to leverage its own brand—they may have a great brand reputation already, but an urgent care partnership can amplify that by providing that all-important aspect of convenience to patients.” One of the challenges, according to the piece, is for health system management to realize they have to relinquish a little bit of control for such endeavors to pay off. It all boils down to adapting to changing expectations: “They’ve got to improve their performance when it comes to customer services. Consumers are expecting, and demanding, more than they have in the past.” And that’s where the urgent care partnerships come in.
Health Systems Get the Picture: Urgent Care Can Help Them Strengthen Their Brand