Since the introduction of the first walk-in centers during the 1970s, the urgent care market has continued to evolve. According to the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA), the number of urgent care centers reached 8,774 in November 2018—an 8 percent increase from 2017. Additionally, urgent care clinics handle about 89 million patient visits each year, which includes more than 29 percent of all primary care visits in the U.S. and nearly 15 percent of all outpatient physician visits.
Increased urgent care competition
As the number of urgent care centers and patient visits continues to increase, the level of competition in this sector of the healthcare industry is intensifying. Each facility strives to deliver the most superior customer service. With so many options for patients, it is not simply about going to a nearby urgent care center anymore; patients are searching for nothing short of an amazing experience. They desire short wait times and the ability to preschedule appointments online as well as other amenities. If the service provided at an urgent care center is lacking, patients realize they can easily find another location down the road or around the corner.
Emerging role of locum tenens providers
In the past, many urgent care centers were established and/or staffed by emergency medicine physicians. However, the expansion of these facilities—as well as the demand for qualified clinicians to staff them—has resulted in physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants with varied experiences stepping in to fill the need. It is not at all uncommon for a family practitioner or doctor of internal medicine with pediatric experience to be placed on a locum tenens assignment at an urgent care center. The market has plenty of opportunities for other board-certified physicians, as well as advanced practitioners, which benefits the facilities, providers, and patients.
Benefits of locum tenens services
Partnering with a reputable locum tenens staffing firm helps many centers open their doors and keep them open. Working with a company that can offer solutions beyond traditional locum tenens services—such as turnkey project and resource management—can provide urgent care facility administrators with even greater consistency, flexibility, and support. If you oversee operations at an urgent care facility, making locum tenens services part of your staffing solution allows you to:
- Recruit physicians and other providers. Whether you are looking to replace a clinician who has retired or left your facility, or wish to fill a new position, using the services of an esteemed locum tenens staffing agency gives you the time to focus your energy on finding, interviewing, and vetting high-quality candidates.
- Stabilize physician coverage. Locum tenens professionals are experienced at “hitting the ground running,” so they can readily adapt to different settings and fill any staffing gaps for as long as you need them.
- Improve patient satisfaction. With countless urgent care centers vying for their business, patients and their satisfaction are paramount to your success. Using locum tenens clinicians at your facility can help you deliver the excellent service and continuity of care that patients demand.
- Maintain steady revenues. Joining forces with a respected locum tenens staffing company can help your urgent care facility earn revenue it might otherwise lose without ample coverage.
If you are interested in learning more about the importance of securing exceptional locum tenens services and their benefit for your facility, visit the Medicus Healthcare Solutions website or call 855.301.0563 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.