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The Future of Urgent Care

Those of us in the on-demand medicine space all face a daunting challenge. Our industry attracts a mass market of consumers who have much higher expectations from their experience, the same expectations they have of retailers like Starbucks, Amazon or Target. We also face a crowded market of large and small players and much greater saturation, especially in urban and suburban markets.

Fallout from COVID-19

For the past several months, the urgent care industry has been abuzz with articles and commentary about how COVID-19 has reshaped visit volume and chief complaint mix across the country. Operators have watched COVID-19 testing nearly subsume their visit volume with barely a hint of traditional cold and flu visits that typically boom this time of year. There has also been a lot of talk about the influence of technology, particularly virtual technology, on traditional urgent care models.

Urgent Care Quality Group

The Urgent Care Quality Group (UCQG) is a group of urgent care chief medical officers and practice executives who have joined together to foster peer-to-peer dialogue that identifies the key issues of quality and patient safety in our industry and paves the way to actionable, meaningful improvements.

Get Ready for a Post-COVID World in Urgent Care

In April 2016, I wrote an article for our blog entitled “Tough Talk Around Walk-in Medicine” in which I listed the top-10 focal points for hospital-based urgent care operators. The article covered some of the typical challenges for hospitals who are trying to compete with more nimble private-equity-backed and private urgent care operators.

Time Out: Will COVID-19 Kill the Urgent Care Industry?

The scene is an emergency department (ED) at a large hospital in the Northeast. Providers and staff are going full out as patients flood the department. Over the loudspeaker, EMTs in transit with a patient announce the age, gender and condition. Another in-transit first responder team waits on hold in a queue that seems endless, one after another announcing a COVID-19 patient on the way.

High Turnover Takes Its Toll

We are entering a highly competitive and disruptive phase of the healthcare ecosystem. Over the next 10 years this new phase will be characterized by a battle for the “front door” of healthcare services between traditional health systems and new entrants. That battle will be waged over creating a new healthcare “experience” driven by seamless and frictionless technology, high-performing and highly engaged teams, and a radically changed payer environment.

Looking Back and Planning Forward

Every year after our annual on-demand strategy symposium, we reflect on what transpired in the previous year and what appear to be the dominant trends in the year to come. This year’s 11th Annual Strategy Symposium was perhaps the most compelling evidence that we are entering some dynamic, if not transformative times in the on-demand world of healthcare.

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