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Drive-Thru Health Care: How McDonald's Inspired An Urgent Care Gold Rush

Dr. Bruce Irwin has been in the urgent care business for over 30 years, and he’s never seen anything like the current gold rush. “It’s like we’re in a rock band and all of sudden we have a hit, we’re an overnight sensation. But in reality, we’ve been playing in bars and honky-tonks for years,” he says. Irwin is the founder and CEO of American Family Care, the largest independent chain in the country, with 128 clinics, mostly in the Southeast.

Bruce Irwin

American Family Care was designed to deliver medicine like hamburgers: customer-friendly and efficient. Eliminating appointments and cutting down on wait times are the first steps, but they’re only part of a customer-satisfaction puzzle that includes cheerful assistants, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. In-house pharmacies, digital X-ray machines and drug test facilities make them one-stop shops for patients. Doctors focus only on medicine, in standard ten-hour shifts and with no on-call duty. The operational bugaboos of private practice (insurance, billing, purchasing, hiring, certification, etc.) are outsourced to one centralized office. Employees at each clinic are rewarded every month with bonuses based on metrics like the rate of day-later follow-up calls (Irwin expects 100%). In the last five years, American Family Care has ballooned to $200 million in sales across 128 wholly-owned and franchised clinics, with 16 more on track to open this year.

In January of 2014, American Family Care purchased Trinity Medical Contractors and American Healthcare Resources (AHR) was born. AHR encompasses two new divisions while maintaining the nursing and locum tenens divisions that made up Trinity. American Healthcare Resources is the sole provider of physicians for American Family Care and is the preferred vendor for AFC/Doctors Express (owned by American Family Care), which operates in 26 states. The 3 division staffing approach establishes American Healthcare Resources as the most diverse staffing company in the United States.

Because of our background and experience, our expertise in talent acquisition and managing all aspects of healthcare recruitment and temporary staffing for our clients is unmatched. Also, financial stability in today’s economy is a very positive aspect of allowing AHR’s staff to engage with our customers and enter into a “business partner” relationship with clients.

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