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Seamlessly Launching an Urgent Care Clinic

Meet the Founders

Stephanie Trowbridge, MD
Medical Director/Co-Founder
Dr. Stephanie Trowbridge is an emergency room physician, board certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS Medical Direction. Dr. Trowbridge graduated from Clemson University and received her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Mathew Trowbridge
Mathew Trowbridge received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University and spent 7 years in the construction industry in project management and estimating & design. He earned his Professional Engineering License and completed the MBA program at the University of South Carolina.

The Business Challenge

The Range Urgent Care facility opened in November 2017 in Asheville, NC. Range’s urgent care center runs on a flat fee model and serves a growing population in the most populous city of Western North Carolina. Since then they have been working to redefine what it means to run an urgent care center.
In 2017 the Trowbrige’s were faced with the challenge of finding a way to provide a superior patient experience and streamline all processes associated with launching an urgent care clinic while keeping cost in mind. Though starting up an urgent care clinic can be a fulfilling experience, a multitude of logistical and financial barriers can muddle the entire undertaking. With the typical startup cost hovering between $750,000 and $1.5 million, Range knew it was crucial to calculate every move ahead of time and remove as many hurdles as possible to pull off a flawless launch.

The Solution

In order to have a successful launch for their first clinic, Range needed to be proactive in developing their systems and processes that fit their various requirements. By using DrChrono’s mobile check-in app and EHR on iPad and iPhone, Range streamlined their practice management, in addition to enhancing patient encounters. Specifically, using DrChrono helped Range eliminate much of the operational costs needed to run an efficient and profitable practice, appeal to the millennials who make up a significant portion of Range’s patient demographic and help them stand out from the crowd with easy appointment scheduling and more.
Savings on Operational Costs
Thanks in large part to the automations provided by DrChrono, Range was able to significantly cut back on operational expenses like payroll. For example, Range did not need a receptionist because they implemented a check-in kiosk in the front to handle walk-ins, online scheduling on their website for appointments, as well as an integrated POS and message center directly in the DrChrono applications. This saved Range roughly $65,000 annually per clinic.1
Range also did not need a biller or coder because of DrChrono’s integrated claims management tool was extremely easy to submit and manage claims. This saved Range roughly $38,000 annually.2
Catering To a Core Demographic
Range saw that Asheville was a good location to open their first urgent care clinic. Asheville was growing at a rate of 7.1% with over 50% of its population growth coming from Millenials and younger.3 Furthermore, millenials prefer the retail and acute care clinics (34% and 25% respectively) at a far higher degree than boomers (17% and 14%) and seniors (15% and 11%).4 Much of this preference is attributed to the perceived patient experience which comes from expected speed of service, price transparency, and online reviews. Nearly 50% of Millennials and Gen-Xers use online reviews when shopping for a healthcare provider.4
With DrChrono, Range was able to appeal to millennials and differentiate themselves as a convenient, forward-thinking practice. Range minimized in-clinic wait times with online appointment scheduling and a virtual queue system with wait times and availability accessible online. Upon scheduling, the system sends patients real-time appointment updates via text messages, creating a calmer, more convenient careplace for both staff and patients. Today, 86% of Urgent Care clinics still do not accept appointments. Of the 14% that do, 35% of appointments were scheduled via phone and 48% through the web.1
DrChrono also helped the Range team optimize their day-to-day workflow from the check-in process to triaging to charting to check-out facilitating a superior experience for both the patient and staff.
Six months into operations, millennials make up 34% of Range’s overall patient population with an additional 14% of visits being pediatric visits, most of which come from millennial parents.5 Through DrChrono, Range was also able to automate their patient satisfaction surveys getting over 200 reviews in the first quarter of operation, which allowed them to proactively manage patient reviews. Almost 10% of Range’s monthly visits are repeat patients.
Starting up a practice is a costly endeavor, both from a financial and logistical standpoint. By integrating DrChrono into their day-to-day operations, Range has been able to make their start-up experience a smooth one. Specifically, they have been able to streamline processes, optimize productivity and cut costs thanks in large part to the features and functionality available through the DrChrono platform. If you are looking to start your own urgent care clinic, carefully consider how you want to run your practice and how you want it to grow. The EHR/Practice management platform you choose will be a critical partner to your success.
1 pg 12, 23 The 50th percentile of urgent cares had 4,032 annual hours of operations and the average hourly wage for registration staff is $16/hour. Calculation is based upon minimum hours coverage without staffing overlap. 2017 Benchmarking Report, Urgent Care Association
2 Office of Physician Annual mean wage with full time hours ~2,080 hours. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes433021.htm
5 Millennial Generation consists of those born between 1981 and 1996