When faced with an after-hours sports injury, parents must decide whether to take their children to the emergency room or an urgent care facility. The severity of the injury, their proximity to a medical facility and insurance coverage will all affect whether parents decide to go to the hospital or an urgent care center. These aren't the only factors they'll consider, though. If you run an urgent care center, you can differentiate your facility from emergency rooms by providing family-friendly features that will entice parents to bring their injured children to your practice, rather than the hospital.
Features for Kids
While specific features might cater to children of a certain age, your center should have something for kids of every age. Many children in sports have siblings, who may be older or younger, and will have to accompany their injured brother or sister to your center. Their parents, of course, will want to keep all of their children occupied.
Here are a few ways you can cater to kids of different age ranges:
- stock bandaids with iconic characters that young children like
- set up a few small chairs in your waiting room that are the size of the chairs elementary kids use
- put games that can be played quickly in your waiting room (these should be challenging enough for a teenager but not have small parts that toddlers could choke on)
- show popular kids movies on televisions in your waiting room
Features for Parents
Parents will appreciate it if you also have things for them in your waiting room. After all, adults don't necessarily like waiting to be seen any more than children do. A few things you might set up for parents include:
- complimentary coffee and tea
- sports-related magazines (since their children play sports)
- a secluded nursing area for mothers with babies
- free Wi-Fi
A Marketing Plan for Your Center
According to The Advisory Board Company, 41 percent of urgent care centers spend under $10,000 on marketing annually. Even with a $10,000 budget, it's difficult to compete with hospitals' campaigns.
Targeting parents who have children with sports injuries lets you differentiate your facility from hospitals without spending a fortune on advertising. None of these suggestions cost thousands of dollars, but they'll all make a difference to families. As word spreads through sports teams and leagues that your urgent care center caters to families, you can expect to see more young athletes coming through your doors when they're injured.
You can also look at other UCCs, like West Ocean City Injury & Illness Center, to understand what efforts are seeing success in your area.