Why Did You Start Your Business?
I started my business with three partners. We are all emergency medicine doctors who love taking care of patients, but we didn’t like the hectic pace in the hospital emergency room (ER) that can lead to patient and doctor dissatisfaction. We also really disliked the common emergency room practices – incredibly high treatments costs, the chaotic atmosphere and the wildly excessive wait times. These three factors alone really give the traditional ER a negative view in the public’s eye and we knew we could do something better.
After working in a free-standing emergency room, we realized there might be more options for our schools than just the traditional hospital-based ER.
The next two years were spent developing a model that brings the practice of medicine back to the bedside, between the doctors and patients, decreases cost and improves satisfaction for patients and doctors alike. We came up with a sort of super urgent care clinic – a clinic that can treat almost everything a regular ER can (we have a CT scan, an X-ray machine, and other high-tech medical tools) yet we still care for the minor fevers, cuts and sprains an urgent care facility can at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room visit.
What Do People Love About Your Business? Why Does Your Business Matter?
People love our urgent care clinic because we provide an option to the “traditional” emergency room which saves the time, money, and the hassle of the ER. Everyday I hear people say, “I hate the emergency room. I have to be almost dying to even think about it.” I tend to agree that the ER can be a pretty horrible place. Our goal was to change that perspective. I believe we have done that!
We decided to take everything great from the emergency room experience and get rid of the rest. From the patient standpoint that means patients move from the reception desk to time with the doctor as rapidly as possible. That usually means no wait times at all – can you imagine that in an emergency room?
From the doctor’s perspective, we can spend more quality time with the patient in a much less hectic environment, making our work day much more rewarding.
Our receptionists are amazing, but they are not the reason you have come to my place of business, so we make it fast and easy for our receptionist to obtain your information and get you to the doctor! We have made it beautiful because we all like calming, comfortable surroundings, and we think that helps you feel better faster.
Core Values Win The Day
Our core values are kindness, compassion, bravery and integrity and we talk about how we can live this out with our employees, our patients, their families and our community.
Based on our reviews, I think people love feeling heard and cared for in a way that is less common in medicine. Providing a safe, less expensive place to receive medical care for sudden illnesses and injuries where you feel listened to and leave educated (and feeling better) matters.
If you were to start your business all over, what advice do you wish you had received?
I knew that I would be working a lot. I knew I would be tired. After four years of residency, I thought I had cornered the market on hard work. What I didn’t fully appreciate is the number of new things I needed to learn: financing, billing, medical coding, marketing, employee management and human resources.
There are a lot of great options to help manage these tasks, but the task of finding the correct system or correct person for your business is mind-boggling. I wish someone had told me to start early when you collect your teams. Ask advice from other business owners! Small business owners love to discuss what they have learned!
Julie Marmon MD is a certified Emergency Room doctor and owner of ER Specialists Urgency Center (https://erspecialistsuc.com) in Colorado Springs, CO. She is also an active mom of two boys, ages 15 and 9, and has been married to her husband, Mike, for 17 years. They enjoy all things active, especially in the Colorado mountains and dream of opening their next locations in their favorite towns across the country!