Reasons to Add Virtual Care Services to Your Urgent Care Clinic
What if you could accept twice as many patients without the staffing headaches? It wouldn’t just benefit your profit margin. A recent study shows that 64 percent of patients are interested in telemedicine and would prefer a remote consultation over making a trip to the emergency room. In fact, it’s been estimated that 40% of all urgent care visits could be handled remotely. With telehealth adoption reaching 80% and the telemedicine technology industry expected to generate $82 billion by 2028, urgent care centers who offer virtual care services can differentiate themselves in the market and deliver the consumer-centered care patients are demanding.
How Virtual Care Platforms Benefit Urgent Care Centers
A virtual clinic can allow your urgent care center to expand your services and operating hours while managing load during peak hours. But building a virtual urgent care clinic from scratch is a daunting task. From regulatory compliance to clinical staffing management and complex tech requirements, many urgent care centers opt to work with a virtual care platform provider. The right virtual care platform can make growth and revenue potential exponential and allows your center to offer more coordinated care. However, connecting disparate systems with a single unified platform (scheduling software connected to EMR etc.) can be a logistical nightmare if you don’t choose the right telehealth platform.
Choosing the Right Telehealth Platform for an Urgent Care Center
Considering Technical Requirements and Implementation
It’s important that your vendor can integrate with existing care systems like connecting your EMR/EHR to your brick and mortar operations. A great virtual care platform can do this quickly and cost-efficiently. Your telehealth platform should also be able to provide scheduling & queue management to ensure that patients are served with quick response times and routed to the right provider. Your vendor should also provide tech stack modularity, allowing you to add and change components as you scale.
Beyond your tech stack integration, your vendor should be a subject matter expert who can recommend solutions that are prescriptive instead of one-size-fits-all. They should have a proactive approach to implementation that includes dedicated resources to create a more cohesive partnership prior to launch.
Comparing Features and Capabilities
Some virtual care platforms offer EMR integration, but you still need to find a way to staff your platform. Look for vendors who offer APIs/SDK integration as well as a clinician network that can handle visits 24/7, ideally in all 50 states or at least in the region where you deliver care. This immediately expands your growth potential while allowing you to offload low-acuity cases so your in-house providers can handle emergencies that are better served in-person.
Evaluating Cost Models and ROI
While profitability can vary, it's important to consider several factors specific to your urgent care center, such as the volume of patients you see each day, the types of services you offer, and the cost of your current care delivery model.
Calculate the current cost per patient of your existing care model, taking into account overhead costs, such as facility maintenance and staff salaries, then estimate potential cost savings and revenue generation of implementing a virtual care platform, factoring in the costs of implementing and maintaining the platform.
The potential impact on patient outcomes and satisfaction is also a factor to consider when evaluating short- and long-term investment returns.
Ultimately, a virtual care platform should improve patient access to care, streamline care delivery processes, and enhance the overall patient experience. Consider choosing a platform that can be white-labeled under your brand to help ensure a seamless patient experience. When evaluating the user-friendliness of your chosen virtual care platform, consider accessibility across different devices and operating systems as well as the ease of use. Does the patient front-door and video visit feel like the same quality of care as your in-person visits?If the patient is in need of an in-person follow-up, you’ll want to give a warm hand-off between the virtual provider and the brick and mortar provider. It’s also important to consider the training and support required for clinicians to use the platform as well as the availability of technical support post-implementation.
Understanding the Security and Compliance Features
When choosing a white-label virtual care platform for an urgent care center, It's important to consider factors such as data encryption, authentication and authorization protocols, as well as compliance with relevant regulations such as HIPAA.The virtual care platform should use encryption to protect patient data during transmission and storage, and should have robust authentication and authorization protocols to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to patient information.In addition, the vendor should have policies and procedures in place for data breach notification, and ensuring that all staff are trained on HIPAA compliance.It's also important to consider the level of control you have over patient data within the virtual care platform. This includes the ability to access, modify, and delete patient information as needed, and to ensure that patient data is not shared with unauthorized individuals or organizations.
Wheel’s White-label Telehealth Platform for Urgent Care
If evaluating so many factors feels overwhelming, consider Wheel as your partner when scaling with virtual care. Whether you just want to add overflow coverage during peak demand or expand your service hours, Wheel’s best-in-class virtual care platform can deliver a seamless patient experience. Wheel makes it simple to launch and scale virtual care services without the heavy technical lift and capital investment.
Protect your urgent care market share and continue to accelerate business growth. Wheel has everything you need, from a customizable patient experience to clinicians that deliver quality care under your brand. Consider Wheel as your telehealth partner so you can deliver the innovative, hybrid care that today’s consumers want.