It used to be that the ability to administer x-rays on site was enough to distinguish one urgent care center’s superiority over another. With most urgent care operators understanding that patients have come to expect x-ray services these days, however, it’s not such a competitive advantage. Rather, making the process as smooth as possible and ensuring the reads are spot-on should encourage patients to come back in the future. Failing to do so will likely result in them going elsewhere.
Just how much of a threat would that be to your business? Well, according to Urgent Care Quarterly, a new industry resource produced by Experity, over 10% of all urgent care visits now feature a radiology exam of one kind or another. Computed tomography, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound are found in some urgent care centers, with ultrasound holding promise down the road due to advances in bed-side technology. For now, though, x-rays continue to be the most common—especially during flu season. See the chart below for a glimpse of how the percentage of urgent care visits that require an x-ray are affected by age and season across the industry.