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Just Checking In - Episode 29: Politics & Business

Episode 29:
Politics & Business

Urgent care is in the business of spurring repeat visits and positive word of mouth from satisfied patients. Given the volatile political environment, odds are that the political views of your center’s providers and staff will not align 100% with those of all your patients.

Just Checking In - Episode 29 - Politics and Business
Video Transcript

Good Evening! This is Alan Ayers and I am Just Checking In from Columbus, OH and tonight I’d like to speak with you about our current political situation in the United States. So right now we’re a seeing a political environment that is probably more polarized, more divisive, more emotional, and more reactionary than any political climate I can remember in my entire lifetime. So because of this, I know this is a topic that is on many people’s minds and it’s a topic that many people want to talk about and can become quite engaged around. But in urgent care, you have to remember, you are a service business.

Urgent care is successful to the extent that you generate patient loyalty, people use your center, you meet their need, they have a good experience, and they want to return the next time they have an urgent care need. Also, urgent care is successful to the extent that you create promoters. People who have a positive experience in your center leave positive reviews online and they give positive recommendations to their friends and family to use your center the next time they have an urgent care need. So if you, as a provider or an employee – a staff member of an urgent care center – engage your patients in politics or political discussion, odds are your political views are not going to align 100% perfectly with those of all your patients. And there’s a real chance that you might put somebody off. The best policy to avoid this is to have zero discussion or a policy of no discussion of politics with urgent care patients.

Now I know this can be tough. Urgent care physicians have political views. There are many urgent care physicians who feel that we should move towards a Medicare-for-all system. There are other urgent care physicians who are entrepreneurs who feel that the free marketplace should solve complex problems like healthcare. I know of urgent care physicians who have been personally affected by some of the things that have taken place in our country. So I know it’s top-of-mind. I know it’s something that people are passionate about, but keep in mind, you are in a patient-service business and just as it would be completely inappropriate to discuss a subject like say, religion, it is also completely inappropriate to discuss politics or to engage your patients in any kind of discussion around politics.

I’ve learned that many service businesses, like restaurants and hotels, actually have formal policies in place that prevent their employees from discussing politics with their customers. And I would encourage you, as an urgent care operator, to adopt a similar policy. Focus on the patient, focus on throughput, focus on speed, and focus on satisfying your patients so that you can create loyal fans of your center who will go out and tell others to use your center whenever they have an urgent care need. This is Alan Ayers Just Checking In from Columbus, OH.

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