A little boy bangs his toe on the coffee table while chasing his cat around the house. He’s screaming bloody murder and his mom is convinced he’s broken a bone. It’s a scenario tailor-made for urgent care, so she drives immediately to your clinic—only to find the only parking spot is across the street, in the municipal lot. Be assured she’s not parking there; nor is she going to circle until something opens up. She’s driving straight to one of your competitors or the emergency room—and those will probably be the options she considers first the next time someone in the family needs immediate care. This is the risk Beaumont Urgent Care in Grosse Point, MI has been facing lately, and they’re losing patients (and patience) while battling with local officials to amend the problem. As detailed in a Grosse Point News article recently, the clinic was allotted 10 dedicated parking spots when they opened in July. Unfortunately, they found those spots were filled quickly not by their own customers, but those from surrounding businesses. So, they put up a sign—Beaumont Urgent Care Parking—only to find that it violated local codes. They finally got permission to put up signs that conformed to size and location rules, but now enforcement is an issue and some patients probably have written off the location because it’s too hard to park there. This is something you should be aware of when scouting locations for a new clinic. Make sure you discuss the available options with your landlord. This goes for your space in general, especially if you’re set in a larger commercial property like a shopping center. How close is “too close” for another medical practice to be, for example? These questions were addressed in a recent JUCM article entitled What Use Restrictions Can Landlords Impose on Urgent Care Facilities? You can (and should) read it in our archive.
If Patients Can’t Park Near Your Clinic, They Won’t Be YOUR Patients for Long