The Business Challenge
“Our healthcare system is broken, and urgent care
clinics are an important part of a solution in providing
affordable and convenient access to high-quality care
for our community,”
says Stephanie Trowbridge, MD, in a press release
announcing the 2017 opening of her urgent
While urgent care facilities are part of the solution,
there’s a chronic problem with many of the urgent
care clinics that have popped up over the last few
years: The patient experience and administrative
workflows are not optimized. Patients are left waiting,
sometimes for hours, to be seen. At hospitals, where
the wait times are generally longer, patients are more
accepting of this. But when it comes to urgent care
centers, patients are less forgiving.
A quick Yelp search anecdotally backs up
Had to wait 3 hours and 45 minutes to see the doctor
Long wait, but a lot of urgent cares are like this
Ridiculously long wait. Which was totally avoidable.
According to a 2017 UCA benchmarking report, 10%
of patient visits in 2016 lasted longer than an hour,
while only 1% of visits lasted between 21-30 minutes.
With Range Urgent Care, Stephanie and Mathew
Trowbridge wanted to streamline the urgent care
process and focus on a patient-centric model. After
all, patients aren’t the only ones that feel the negative
impact of an unoptimized urgent care clinic--in the
age of online reviews, it can ruin an urgent care
center’s online reputation, too.
Their challenge: How do they automate tasks not
adding to the patient experience? How do they
minimize patient waiting and rank in the 1% of
urgent care clinics for patient visit times? How do
they design an experience that builds rapport with
patients, and encourages visitors to return the next
time they need care?
Range knew they would have to reduce wait times,
increase their transparency with customers, and
rethink the handling of administrative tasks.
Today, 86% of Urgent Care clinics still do not
accept appointments. This can leave patients with
unpredictable wait times and no way to reliably
schedule an appointment for a specific time in the
Range wanted to break that trend.
Millennials make up 25% of urgent care center visits,
and “millennials expect on-demand access (online
banking, online grocery shopping, etc)”.
What would happen if patients could reliably be
seen when they walked in and predictably schedule
appointments, even same-day, knowing they could
stay on time with the rest of their day? What if they
felt welcomed, heard, and cared for?
Range decided to design an urgent care facility that
felt more like a coffee shop or a spa than a clinic.
They would improve the patient experience and build
better rapport by:
Decreasing wait times through automation and
Increasing provider time with patients via fewer contact points and better “bedside
The improved patient experience would lead to an
increase in repeat customers.
How Range Used a Spa Model to Improve Their Patient
Range served herbal tea, coffee, and seltzer water
to waiting patients. This hospitality was a step in the
right direction, but it wouldn’t be enough.
They needed to address the urgent care clinic issues
of reliability and predictability.
An appointment-focused workflow could make
it easier to line up patient traffic and provider
availability...But it’s not enough to let patients
schedule appointments online with an easy-to-use
interface--for patient satisfaction, Range would need
to see their patients on time.
They found their answer in the DrChrono EHR
Through the DrChrono EHR platform, the provider
availability and patient traffic updated and synced in
Range used this data to add a virtual queue onto their
website. Updated in real time, this queue displayed
accurate wait times for patients. Of course, this
queue only works correctly when patients actually
show up for their scheduled appointments.
For that challenge, Range used the automated
reminder function in DrChrono. With the help of
DrChrono, Range automated the sending of text
message and email reminders to their patients
regarding scheduled appointments. The feature also
updated patients with changes in wait times.
Walk-ins were directed to sign in at a kiosk powered
by DrChrono. These patients were immediately
added to the database.
These functions let Range accommodate same-day
appointment scheduling, walk-ins, and previously
booked appointments without sacrificing on patient
These features benefited Range staff, as well. With
DrChrono’s help, Range staff could:
Balance their schedules with patient needs--
spending extra time when necessary without
concern over a growing patient queue in the
Provide care on time - or earlier than expected -
creating a positive initial interaction
Spend less time dealing with wasted time blocks
because of fewer no-show appointments
Staff knew the calendar they viewed in DrChrono on
their iPads was the same calendar on the website,
and any new appointment would immediately show
up on their app.
Using iPad Compatibility for Streamlined Patient Care
The Trowbridges knew they had to ditch the intrusive,
back-to-patient experience created by a stationary
laptop or computer station.
After looking at a number of EHR platforms, Range
found that DrChrono had the best native iPhone and
iPad app build.
“All of our staff carry an iPad with them in and out
of the patient rooms. They can easily chart while
interacting with the patient and bring the iPad out of
the room and dictate the rest of the note.”
This improved bedside manner was critical for patient
care and satisfaction.
It also cut down on Range staff charting time--”Most
of the charting is done by the time the patient leaves
the clinic and worst case it’s done by the end of the
A Universal 5-Star Experience for Patients (As Reported
on Yelp and Facebook)
The streamlined experience powered by DrChrono
has exceeded patient expectations. “[Range] looked
gorgeous (new and clean) and my experience there
did not disappoint, I made an appointment online...
While waiting for the PA (brief) I was offered hot
herbal tea or LaCroix water...I was in and out in a
mere 30 minutes”.
With the help of DrChrono EHR, Range has been able
to flip the traditional urgent care model on its head.
And the integrations compatible with DrChrono, help
facilitate this increased online presence and online
Available integrations are able to send email or text
messages to patients as soon as that patient leaves
the practice. These messages prompt the patient
to easily review their experience. These integrations
reduce steps for doctors, since they don’t have to
reach out individually to patients, and bolster the
online presence of providers.
Range used DrChrono to design a clinic that has
the predictability of a favorite coffee shop with the
reliability and comfort of a spa. Patients had a more
satisfying experience. Staff spent less time charting,
and almost never had to take administrative work
home with them (although DrChrono for iPhone
makes that easy to do).
If you’re looking to avoid those business-breaking
negative web reviews, DrChrono can help you deliver
patient satisfaction on a customer-focused model.
The right EHR isn’t all it takes to start and run a highly
rated urgent care clinic, but it is a critical piece.
1) 2) 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