Blueprint for a Successful Urgent Care Facility

From the Edaris Health Blog

CEO Corner with Meg Aranow

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with one of our favorite customers: Dr. Ron Elfenbein. Why favorite? Ron’s enthusiasm for creating excellence in Urgent Care is contagious and energizing.

As founder and medical director of Chesapeake ERgent Care, located in the Gambrills Maryland , wants his patients to have the “best medical experience they’ve ever had.”

Elfenbein completed his training at Johns Hopkins Medical School and continues as an active emergency room physician at several hospitals in the Baltimore area. In this conversation, I spoke with Ron Elfenbein about the keys to his success—and to learn why his partnership with Edaris is a vital part of Chesapeake ERgent Care’s strategy.

Aranow: What were you thinking about when you decided to open an independent urgent care clinic?

Elfenbein: I had a vision for my family and for my community. It was definitely a lifestyle choice for my family, an investment for our future. And it was also a way to contribute and be a part of the larger community. It was the next, big step for me, a new way to use both my clinical training and all that I learned from my years of service on many, varied patient satisfaction committees at hospitals where I’ve served.
From those experiences, I learned that quality care should be of unparalleled excellence—and that the rest of a patient’s—and their family members’—experience must also be top-notch.

Aranow: There’s a lot of talk about patient satisfaction and patient engagement. It seems to me you have spent more time than many thinking about the concrete actions you can take to create a positive experience for your patients. What do you think makes a real difference?

Elfenbein: I can tell you some of what we do, but remember it’s never “one and done”, success takes continuous work – things that created success two years ago may be only adequate today.

  • Don’t skimp on the facility design and upkeep. Make it efficient, comfortable, and clean.
  • Avoid wait times. But if there are wait times, fill them with entertainment. That includes providing iPads and coloring books and crayons, for example. And you must keep patients informed about wait times and the reasons they’re waiting.
  • Provide ancillary services. For example, medication dispensing and durable medical equipment. This is 100% for patient convenience.
  • Call every patient after their visit, listen to their feedback and be prepared to act on it.
  • Maintain a strong social media presence and loyalty program. You r patients’ experience isn’t just when they are in the clinic.
  • Give back! Contribute to the community. We provide meeting spaces and experiences for youngsters, and I often speak at local events.

Aranow: You know I have to ask, why did you choose to provide UrgiChart for your clinicians?

Elfenbein: UrgiChart is one of the most important tools we use to create an exceptional patient experience at Chesapeake ERgent Care. It minimizes both physician and patient time while still providing thorough and complete documentation that gets our practice paid for the work we do.

For example, I can document a patient’s chart in under a minute. No other EHR allows me to do that. And a telltale sign that UrgiChart was designed for and by physicians is a new physician can be up and running after only a 15-minute introduction to the platform. Excellent clinicians and innovative charting tools—that’s the winning combination.

Aranow: Do you think choosing the right EHR helped you serve patients and physicians?

Elfenbein: Opening an independent urgent care center is daunting. One of the greatest challenges is managing a highly skilled team. Emergency room clinicians have tussled with EHRs in the past, sometimes coming away very jaded by the experience. That’s why UrgiChart is a differentiator when hiring on new clinicians.

I’m committed to creating a patient-centric urgent care environment where clinicians want to practice medicine. Chesapeake ERgent Care’s use of UrgiChart plays a pivotal role in that strategy.

To learn how your urgent care clinic can create a more meaningful experience for patients and clinicians, check out UrgiChart.

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