THE BENCHMARK REPORTS MILLENNIALS DRIVING INCREASE
THE NUMBER OF URGENT CARE FACILITIES INCREASE
As patient populations expand and their needs evolve, on-demand providers are evolving as well, incorporating new services and technologies into their offerings – such as telemedicine, occupational health, and online registration to keep up with the increase of urgent cares.
Millennial Patients Driving Change
The Benchmarking Report identified the influence of Millennial consumers as a driving force behind on-demand healthcare growth. Millennials are the largest living generation of consumers, and are known to greatly value patient-centric healthcare models for four reasons:
- Millennials seek convenient alternatives to a traditional primary care physician
- Millennials and younger patient populations typically seek care for episodic illnesses and injuries rather than chronic conditions, which urgent care centers provide
- Millennials prefer on-demand access when shopping for any product or service
- Millennials look for pricing transparency when making purchasing decisions
In response, urgent care centers continue to make convenience and accessibility a priority. The report found 81 percent of urgent care patients see a provider in less than 20 minutes, with 55 percent being seen in less than 10 minutes, up from 36 percent in 2015.
Expanding Scope of Services
In addition, on-demand providers are expanding their scope of services to connect patient populations to more options for immediate treatments. Urgent care centers are adopting technology to provide real-time information and updates to patients on their computers and smart devices. In 2016, digital registration tools were in place at 76 percent of urgent care centers and online wait times were available at 54 percent of centers, up from 10 percent in 2015.
Another trend sees urgent care centers further increasing off-site service offerings, setting up clinics at employer worksites, schools and other community sites to ensure care is available to patients when and where they need it most.
“As the healthcare industry shifts to meet changing consumer needs, the role of on-demand providers becomes increasingly vital in the healthcare mix,” said Stoimenoff. “Specialty services, technological innovations and increased accessibility are advancing the industry forward as urgent care leads the way in delivering patient-centric care.”
This is the first year UCA and Merchant Medicine are working together on the annual report, bringing deeper insight and a new perspective to the data. This year’s report cites the largest urgent care organizations by ownership type, provides a comprehensive analysis of growth and includes data on urgent care saturation by core-based statistical area.
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