3 Location Considerations for Urgent Care Centers
Location is one of the primary determining factors when looking to open an urgent care center. Most consumers also cite that one of their main reasons they prefer urgent care clinics is their proximity their homes. Finding the right location, however, is a big challenge as there are several underlying factors that have to be considered before agreeing on a site placement.
Prime areas that house top retailers like Target, Ikea, Wal-Mart and other superstores that attracts high traffic offer the most strategic locations for health care centers. Such places are visible, accessible and often convenient for anyone in search of urgent care. Although there are several ideal urgent care locations, here are six important considerations to help you make an informed decision.
1.Is there any competition?
The first and perhaps the most important thing to consider in a location is the level of competition. You need to know who are your geographical competitors and their proximity to your proposed location. And although it may seem right to open your clinic in an already saturated area, you have to assess the impact of your entry to an already crowded place to find out if you stand a chance to compete with others.
Conversely, be cautious about opening a facility in a less competitive area. You need to ask yourself why other people lack interest in that particular location and what are the factors behind that. Competition is a great thing if handled well. It helps to improve service delivery and offers a great platform for benchmarking.
2.How visible and accessible is the location?
Good urgent care locations are defined by how visible and accessible they are to consumers. Someone who has an urgent health concern will most likely not be able to drive aimlessly looking for a clinic. So, people need to know where your facility is and find it with much ease. Make sure to pick a location that offers you maximum visibility to attract your target patients, even when they least need your services.
Studies show that people will subconsciously make some of their decision based on what they are familiar with. For instance, that drug store that you normally see as you drive to and from your house will likely be your first stop when you have a headache. If potential customers can see your clinic, even from a distance, be sure that they’ll regard you when they need urgent medical help.
3.How is foot and vehicle traffic in that area?
For any business to survive, traffic has to be there. So, before settling on a location, get to know the traffic patterns in that area and the contributing factors as well. What auxiliary services are within your proposed location? Banks, hotels, shopping stores are just some of the services that are known to increase traffic flow in an area. And to take advantage of this traffic, you may want to place your urgent care center on the same route so as to attract the passersby.
This is one way to increase consumers convenience as it enables them to integrate their need to seek medical help with their daily life routines. Different urgent care locations will have different foot and vehicle traffic. For a new facility, the balance between these two is crucial as it will determine the success of your clinic as well as your consumer satisfaction. When the traffic is low, it means that the influx of people will not be enough to support your operations. On the other hand, too much traffic, vehicle traffic in particular, can patients access into the parking lot. The balance between foot and vehicle traffic is important to ensure smooth patient flow in and out of your urgent care center.
Lastly, assess the demographics surrounding the proposed location to get a better understanding of the socioeconomic of your target market. Gender, income level, age group are all part of the important demographic factors to put under consideration. Understanding your local population is usually the first step to providing better services. These are just some of the factors you’ll need to keep in mind when evaluating different urgent care locations for your new facility.