The urgent care industry represents one of the fastest-growing segments in the U.S. healthcare system.
According to the latest IBISWorld report on urgent care centers, in the five years to 2019, industry revenue is forecasted to grow at an annualized rate of 6.3% to $21.4 billion with the number of urgent care establishments expected to rise at an average annual rate of 4.3% to 12,299 centers.
Over the past five years, the shortage of primary care physicians and rising wait times at emergency rooms have stimulated patients’ demand for urgent care as alternative sources of noncritical care.
These market forces complicate the strategic planning process – including site selection, specialty-service mix and marketing decisions.
To ease the process, here are 3 steps for preparing your organization for victory in the urgent care battle ahead.
1.) Know the Patient: while this sounds simple…I assure you, it’s not. Whether you are looking to expand an existing urgent care network or start from scratch, you need to define your core patient. While demographic assumptions and surveys have historically been applied in this effort, organizations need to dig deeper and understand their patients by profiling exactly who their best patients are down to the household level – accounting for their attitudes, finances, behaviors, etc. By going this extra mile, you are able to find the best sites for new urgent care locations and optimize targeted marketing initiatives.
2.) Know the Competition: this can be as simple as seeing where the competition exists today and where you think they are going. However, by adopting a strategic plan that’s backed by analytical tools, you and your team of decision-makers can see the bigger picture, enabling you to understand your markets and competitive impacts.
3.) Model Performance and Potential: the combination of your newly gained patient and market insights can serve as the foundation of a predictive model that will help you identify trade areas rich with your core patients and unlikely to significantly cannibalize existing locations.
While the next five years present increasing opportunity for growth, urgent care centers will face more competition than ever before.
You can prepare your urgent care organization for certain victory in the battle ahead by using predictive modeling to optimize networks and prevent revenue deterioration.
Talk to us today to learn more about how Buxton’s healthcare analysis can help with your organization’s strategic growth planning and provide unparalleled patient insights.