I’ve always wanted to kind of be my own boss. The previous two companies I worked for went corporate, and they always try to do what’s best for them and not necessarily for you or for the patient. And I wanted to start something that I could be proud of.
I live in College Station, Texas, and so I decided that about an hour drive is what I’d be willing to do. And when I came across Urgent Care Consultants, they helped get me in touch with Jim Garrett of the National UC Realty, and we did survey spots on five different places. And once we looked at how everything gridded out, we decided on Huntsville.
I’ve never been in business so I had no idea going in how much that entailed – the startup costs, the ongoing costs, the salaries, the budgets for marketing, the cash flows. I learned what EBITDA was along the way. They gave me ideas. I actually asked them how much square footage I’d need. They gave me the average ranges; I don’t remember how many hundreds of clinics they’ve opened, and so they were able to give me actual numbers of their larger and their smaller end. And they also were the ones that got me in touch with the builder, Midland Construction. And I don’t know how many hundreds of clinics they’ve opened as well, but they were always able to give advice and say they’ve done it this way there, we did it this way there that worked well.
Well, when you walk in our doors I want people to be greeted. That’s actually one of the policies here is for the front office to stand and greet the patients when they come in the door and welcome them to TexPress Urgent Care. I want them to feel like they should be here, feel welcome. We want it to be comfortable. We have wireless internet available to all our patients. We have DirecTV’s in every room. We want them to be as comfortable as possible. And we also want them to get the best care obviously. And so, I’ve worked with all the Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners that work here as well as myself staffing here, and we’ve all had tremendous ER experience, so we feel very comfortable with everything we see here, as well as probably more that most urgent cares might not see. We’ve treated head injuries that we’ve sent out for CT scans and had them come back that they were unwilling to go to the ER. We’ve ordered ultrasound outpatients to rule out testicular torsion when the patient refused to go to the emergency room.
My plan was to start an urgent care, so pretty much I would have been lost without them. And they’ve been great. They’re easily accessible. They help me with things I didn’t even know I was going to need help with; anything from the performa, to the business plan, to little things that I never would have even thought of until it would have been too late – from making signs, to ordering office supplies, to getting me in touch with group purchasing organizations. Just, there’s so many details. The checklists were really nice to have, and just being able to call them up or text them and having them there and feeling like you know them, and almost as if they were your friends, which they actually have become. It’s nice to be able to call them and ask for help.
The one thing I actually did like about Urgent Care Consultants is that they were tied to Practice Velocity. And I knew that up front and they didn’t hide their connections. So, if you always ask, “Why does somebody do this? Where do they get theirs?” and I felt like the more clinics I open and the better they do, the more likely I am to use more electronic medical records. And I actually did research multiple EMR’s and I did decide on Practice Velocity. And I didn’t ever feel like Urgent Care Consultants pressured me to use them. I had the discount, which obviously enticed me to do it. But once I researched them, this was the only one I found that was made specific for urgent care, so you’re not paying for a lot of features that you don’t need that you might need in a hospital or you might need in a primary care office. Everything you need is on there and everything on there you need.
One – if you don’t have a business background I can tell you that you won’t be able to figure it out yourself – not in a timely manner and not without wrecking your marriage or your lifestyle. And two – if you’re on the fence about doing it, go for it, but definitely have a consultant to do it with you. With Urgent Care Consultants, the one-time fee, no matter how many you open. They are not just trying to get your money. They want you to do well because that helps them help you. They are not going to charge you more if you do well or charge you more if you don’t do well.