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A Lesson from the Choluteca Bridge During COVID-19

Choluteca Bridge in Honduras

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created many interesting challenges and opportunities for Urgent Care Centers. After suffering a sharp decline in visits in the early days of the pandemic, the visit volumes have rebounded significantly in the last few weeks and, on average, are significantly above normal. This is thanks in no small part due to the increase in both the tele-visit and COVID-19 antibody testing appointments.

We at PatientBond sincerely believe that Urgent Care Centers are very special to the communities they serve given their singular focus on delivering an excellent patient experience and their power to adapt quickly to address new needs compared to any other type of healthcare organization. 

This reminds me of the Choluteca bridge story. Have you heard of it? I had not until quite recently. The Choluteca bridge is a 484 m. long bridge in Honduras in a region notorious for storms and hurricanes. The bridge, completed in 1998, was a modern marvel of engineering, designed to withstand powerful forces of nature. But as it turns out, in the same year that the bridge was commissioned for use, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Mitch, which caused considerable damage to the nation and its infrastructure.

Many other bridges were damaged, but the Choluteca bridge survived in near perfect condition. However, roads on either end of the bridge completely vanished, leaving no visible trace of their prior existence. More impressively, the Choluteca River (which is several hundred feet wide) had carved itself a new channel during the massive flooding caused by the hurricane. It no longer flowed beneath the bridge, which now spanned dry ground. The bridge quickly became known as “The Bridge to Nowhere."

The lesson for all of us is that often we focus on creating the best solution for a given problem. We forget that the problem itself might change. We focus on building the most sophisticated product or service without thinking that requirements could evolve, or the market could vanish. And this lesson could not be more relevant to the current times – instead of “Built to Last,” which has been a popular corporate mantra in the past to build the “Bridge to Nowhere”, “Build to Adapt” seems certainly to be the way to go in the future.

At PatientBond from day one, we have focused on creating the most configurable and adaptable consumer-centric technology framework to address the ever-changing digital patient engagement needs. We help our valued clients offers innovative health consumer experiences for every stage of care, anytime, anywhere, to surpass our customers' business goals... but don't just take our word for it. PatientBond is deployed at scores of leading Urgent Care Center organizations such as FastPace, FastMed, Physicians Immediate Care, CRH HealthCare, Hometown Urgent Care, to name just a few. And our industry-leading NPS score of 82 is a strong testament that we are committed to partnering with all our clients to succeed as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

It is in this spirit that PatientBond will offer Urgent Care Centers a free, two-month trial at no risk to demonstrate our value and commitment to this important community healthcare resource. This will not just save Urgent Care Centers thousands of dollars in cash flow from operations (by reducing manual labor through automation and eliminating other vendor charges), but also amplify the impact of Urgent Care marketing dollars to maximize walk-in and tap-in volumes through our proprietary consumer research insights. And as an added bonus, we have significantly increased Patient Self-Pay collections at nearly every single one of our customers.

I invite any Urgent Care Center to reach out to us at your convenience. In the meantime, please accept our appreciation of the valuable service you provide to your community – we are all grateful!

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