Top 3 Urgent Care Metrics that Emerged During the Pandemic
The arrival of COVID-19 was more like a shock to urgent care clinics. One minute they were waiting for the flu season to end, and the next minute they had to stand up against a highly contagious virus and the never-ending patient inflow.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 emergence, Urgent Care centers faced a record-breaking scarcity in patient volume due to the strict guidelines to stay-at-home. There was also major shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supply shortages that contributed to the fall inpatient visits at the time.
As these events were unfolding, urgent care clinics had no other option but to assure their sustainability. They attempted to secure their place in the industry with more PPE and supply kits for patients who desperately needed them. Now, with sufficiency in equipment and test kits, patients began to walk into Urgent Care clinics for immediate needs like COVID testing, vaccines, treatments etc. and all of a sudden, Urgent Care became the hero with an increased number of patient visits that were ever recorded.
The demand for Urgent Care clinics kept skyrocketing and increased dramatically over the weeks of COVID-19 emergence. This growth was crucial for Urgent Care clinics as they served more as small service delivery centers, prior to the pandemic.
Let’s see the three metrics that unfolded for Urgent Care Centers during the pandemic
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1. Testing totals for COVID-19
Urgent care facilities countrywide performed a significantly higher number of COVID-19 tests throughout the month of July 2020. Urgent care clinics, which were once an underused testing resource, were now seen as a crucial component of the pandemic response since they serve the requirements of both their patients and the local populations.
2. Patient Visit Volume
Even though clinics saw a sizable decline at the beginning of the year, we can observe that visit volume is recovering.
About 53% of clinics witnessed more than 30 patients per day in 2020. The increase in patient encounters per month speaks volumes about the urgent care demand; it illustrates their adaptability and readiness to change direction, as well as an entrepreneurial mindset in determining the best approach to provide service to patients in a complex environment.
3. COVID-19 vs. Summer Flu
In 2019, COVID-19 wasn’t really discussed in relation to urgent care. Flu appointments made up 25% of all urgent care visits, and the intensity of the flu season had a significant impact on business. Authentic data sources showed that COVID-19-related urgent care visits accounted for 41 percent of all visits, compared to flu-related visits at 10% at around mid-2020.
This says about how much impact a pandemic has on Urgent Care facilities and what can lead them to a further enhanced workflow.
Has urgent care got into its optimum capacity?
The increase in patient visits was an unforeseen issue for some urgent care facilities that felt the pressure. The patient volume currently appears to be keeping rather steady, which could be a sign of a capacity restriction.
So, only time can tell if Urgent Care facilities have reached their maximum capacity. For now, the efficiency factor is crucial. Patients arriving at Urgent Care facilities for COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and classic patientcare seek effective treatments. Urgent care clinics will also need to expand their operating hours, bring in new resources, and incorporate innovations to fulfill their needs.
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