Did you miss part one of our six-part series on mistakes to avoid when opening an urgent care? Read part one first. Then check out another classic mistake below.
Mistake 2 – Underestimating Build-out Time & Choosing the Wrong Open Date
A common oversight is underestimating the time it takes to open clinic doors. Using an existing building or leasing a space can cut down on construction time, but going with an existing building often limits space and lacks customized room layouts. Consider carefully which building solution type is right for your clinic. Don’t overlook having your building set-up to comply with zoning, building, and health regulations. 3 Ensure your building contractor has considered building codes during the layout configuration stage so your clinic passes inspection.
Having a detailed timeline will help you meet milestones and open on time. Include some flexibility in your build out schedule for unexpected setbacks, like delays in building construction, hiring employees, and obtaining contracts with payers. When advertising, be vague about the opening date, such as saying “coming soon”, until closer to ribbon cutting time. You may want to consider a soft grand opening in the beginning, until your clinic is up and running smoothly.
It’s important to research patient volume for your clinic’s location for the chosen month of your opening—both for correct staffing amounts and revenue streams. Opening during a slow time of year can potentially bankrupt your clinic, but opening before the busy season can give your clinic a chance to streamline operations. In the beginning, hiring fewer or part-time staff and cross-training them can be a prudent move until patient volumes increase.
Bottom Line: Choose your building carefully, have an opening schedule, and research the best month to open.
3 Manley, Marisa. (2013, June). “How to Successfully Build Out an Urgent Care Center”. http://jucm.com/read/casereport.php?casereport=36
(Want to see all six mistakes to avoid when starting an urgent care? Download our free whitepaper!)
Be sure to check out the next mistake we recommend to avoid! We’re curious. Tell us, how long did it take you to build-out your urgent care? What time of year did you open?