6 Ways to Increase Patient Referrals to an Urgent Care

Urgent Care Centers

Most urgent cares experience some seasonality. The busiest times of the year are typically flu season, back- to- school, and allergy season. Patient visits may decline in the summer, which is why it is important to have an aggressive marketing strategy all year round.  The following are a few suggestions to help increase patient referrals for urgent care or walk-in clinics all year round:

  1. Employer Wellness Exams - Visit the chamber of commerce, contact large organizations in your area, and talk to your neighboring businesses about your occupational medicine program. Nearly 93% percent of centers provide some kind of occupational medicine services. Whether you provide pre-employment physicals, drug testing, vision screenings or routine immunizations, this can be an effective way to increase your patient referrals during slower periods of the year.
  2. Sports Physicals - Promote or advertise sports physical exams and required immunizations.
  3. Offer School Physical Exams Early - Offer affordable school physicals throughout summer. Let parents know you provide school physicals early so that they can get into your clinic before the end of the summer rush.
  4. Visit the Emergency Room - An estimated 13.7 to 27.1 percent of all emergency department visits could take place at an urgent care center or a retail clinic. If the providers at your urgent care are on the medical staff at the local hospital, it may be beneficial for them to visit the ER physicians and staff at that hospital. Have some pizza delivered or bring along a snack and plenty of business cards. Make sure they know your facility is nearby. Also, let them know if you have extended or weekend hours so they can send patients who may not need emergency care.
  5. Host Health Education Events at Your Facility or at Community Events - Involvement in the community is essential for any healthcare facility. Getting involved allows providers and staff the opportunity to meet community members and potential patients. Attend community events and offer educational classes centered on prevention. Consider hosting an educational class at your facility.
  6. Visit Specialists - Urgent care centers frequently refer patients to common specialties such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, and wound care. Rather than wait for the specialists to visit you, cultivate the relationship by visiting them. Make sure they have your business cards and flyers on file to give to patients and inform them of your services and hours of operation.

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