Eight Mistakes To Avoid When Opening An Urgent Care

The Urgent Care Association of America estimates that three million patients across the United States visit an urgent care facility each week.

It’s not hard to see why. From treating minor illnesses and injuries to providing IV fluids to treating wound repair, an urgent care can help patients with a variety of medical issues. In fact, the list of symptoms treated at an urgent care is growing with facilities able to treat sports injuries, muscle strain and sprains, asthma, ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, dizziness and many other ailments.


As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of visiting an urgent care and as added bonuses, you can get the medical help you need during helpful hours while avoiding a long wait and a big bill from a trip to the ER. Plus, odds are good you’ll be treated by a doctor who has an ownership stake in the urgent care they work at, so they have a vested interest in having the facility run correctly.

For doctors wondering how to start an urgent care clinic, there are many things a doctor or group of doctors needs to do to make it happen and to ultimately run a successful facility. With that in mind, here are some mistakes to avoid when starting up on an urgent care clinic:

  • Don’t waste money. If you’re starting up an urgent care facility, no expense should be overlooked, no matter how small or how big. It takes a lot to outfit a facility with the proper medical equipment, proper technology to keep track of billing, utility bills and other factors coming into play. If you and a group of doctors is opening a facility with some of your own money at stake, you’ll be wise to keep an eye on spending.
  • Going into business with doctors who are less focused on being doctors and more on being entrepreneurs.
  • Not thinking enough about the location of an urgent care facility. If you’re wondering how to start an urgent care clinic, one of the first basic rules is to open it in the right spot. Take time to consider if the city you’re opening it in is too small and what kind of population you’ll be serving. You’ll also want to consider what other medical facilities are in the area, such as hospitals or retail medical clinics, of which there are 2,800 in the U.S.
  • Overlooking the purchase of an existing urgent care. Purchasing an existing facility can be beneficial, especially if you can also purchase any equipment that might be inside the building. Assuming that equipment is still in good working order, you can accomplish multiple goals at once by purchasing an existing building and getting some needed equipment.
  • Not having a good enough business plan. In order to stay open, any business needs a workable plan. Without one, an urgent care business or any other business won’t be open long. Establishing a workable, flexible plan will enable you to adapt as your facilities needs change or as business increases.
  • Ignorance with finances. If you’re wondering how to start an urgent care clinic, managing finances is one of, if not the single most important factor. A successful urgent care has a reliable billing system in place with reliable billing software to help manage it. Successful facilities also have competent people overseeing billing operations and offer transaction options for customers including cash and credit.
  • Avoiding compliance protocols. In the handbook of how to start an urgent care clinic, being compliment with different medical protocols is paramount. Take time to make sure your facility is compliant in every way possible and isn’t taking short cuts when it comes to spending or billing or offering care to customers.
  • Expanding too quickly. If your urgent care facility is successful, the temptation might be there to expand to additional facilities. While that may be beneficial, it’s important to avoid expanding too quickly. Doing so can lead to overstaffing or spreading your staff too thin.

For doctors opening an urgent care startup, it’s important to avoid any of potential pitfalls described above. Taking the time to follow compliance rules, going over finances and having a workable business plan will ensure your urgent care center stays open to care for patients who need medical care.

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