Practice Management Articles

Urgent message: Urgent care centers exist to help people who need to see a healthcare professional today. When that need coincides with a natural or manmade disaster, every location must have a plan of action to ensure any downtime is minimal, staff needs are met, and the business is able to survive. Introduction No region of the country—for that matter, no state, town, neighborhood, or block—is immune from disabling disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, forest fires, earthquakes, even lightning strikes don’t care whether yours is a single location owned by theRead More
Urgent message: The rise of self-service technologies means that when patients actually do need to interact with frontline staff to resolve a service issue, their more complicated issues, more stringent demands, and higher expectations require an opinionated and outspoken “controller” personality type to take control of the situation. As urgent care relies on positive of word-of-mouth to drive new and repeat visits, a center not only must deliver an exceptional patient experience, but also resolve complaints and grievances quickly and satisfactorily. Since most problem resolution falls on the customer-facing staff,Read More
Urgent message: As many primary care providers expand their hours and offer walk-in service, the lines between urgent care and primary care become blurred. To remain competitive, urgent care operators will need to more clearly define their value to patient and payers, increase the acuity of services offered to reduce duplication, and become more innovative in their service delivery and partnerships. ALAN A. AYERS, MBA, MAcc Introduction For years, many primary care physicians (PCPs) have looked at urgent care with skepticism. While they realize that urgent care can be aRead More
Urgent message: Ideally, paid advertising should show a return on investment based on the revenue it generates. However, revenue-based metrics are difficult to prove using social media, in which “likes” are more valuable in identifying fully engaged patients than generating direct sales. When it comes to social media marketing channels, Facebook remains atop the throne. The fact that 80% of Fortune 500 companies have an active Facebook page more than supports that assertion, and stands as testament to the platform’s meteoric rise. Indeed, brands and companies spend billions each yearRead More
  Urgent Message: Urgent care demands that providers meet goals for fast patient turnaround and positive patient experiences, which when combined with tight staffing makes recognizing and preventing provider burnout a priority for urgent care providers. It’s been said that providers are the lifeblood of any healthcare organization. Indeed, they’re the collective engines that make everything go, such that their focused engagement and dedicated patient care are critical for organizational success. But that dedication often leaves those same providers carrying a heavy mental and emotional burden—a burden that’s leading aRead More
 Urgent message: Urgent care centers need engaged and effective operations leadership, which entails clearly defining managerial roles, individual skillsets and personality characteristics and also having a process for attracting, interviewing, and qualifying managerial candidates. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Practice Velocity, LLC and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Jim Clifton, the highly respected CEO of global performance and research leader Gallup, has often stated that hiring the right manager is by far the most critical decision aRead More
Introduction It should not be surprising that when hospital executives and personnel sit down to discuss issues and problems around population health, accountable care organization (ACO) integration, network development, cost containment, new product lines, hospital readmission rates, care coordination, and related topics they often arrive at hospital-centric and hospital-based solutions to solve them.1 As hospitals and hospital networks look to urgent care centers to address some of these issues through hospital/urgent care affiliations, joint ventures, hospital-owned urgent cares, and other models, the basic relationship between these partners can have someRead More
Urgent message: A chain of command exists in most organizations to assure efficient and accurate communication, orderly and organized business operations, and proper allocation of time and resources. When the chain of command is broken, however, the entire business can suffer.  In American business culture, organizations are typically built in a hierarchal structure and follow an established chain of command. To ensure smooth and efficient operations, employees are generally expected to communicate work issues to the supervisor directly above them in the hierarchy for direction and resolution. Conversely, high-level managers,Read More