We live in an on-demand world. People want instant gratification and immediate attention, and this mindset extends to their healthcare experience. Gone are the days when people would tolerate waiting months to see a specialist, or a week to see their doctor for a cold. The rise of urgent care centers and retail clinics have changed the way healthcare demands are being met. Not only do these centers offer cutting edge technology and same-day appointments but they also provide a clear, up-front, pricing guide for care that is often a lower-cost than more traditional care options.

While urgent care centers and retail clinics are able to keep pace with today’s on-demand world, remaining competitive in this rapidly growing market requires a new way of thinking about what patients want. In addition to on-demand care, cutting edge technology and up-front pricing, patients are also after perks: Wi-Fi access in the waiting area and care rooms, telehealth solutions, and direct access to health records and test results are just some things that influence patient decisions on where to go for care. Many millennial patients are also looking to establish a personal connection with a facility, leading to a rise in marketing and branding creativity.

With so many new aspects of the patient experience to consider in addition to making sure medical needs are being proficiently handled, the demand for forward-thinking practitioners is higher than ever. Students in the Boston College Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program are learning what needs to be considered to not only meet the demands of traditional patient care but also how to manage and implement the innovations happening every day in medicine and patient demand. Within the core curriculum are courses about healthcare innovation, how to drive it, how to support it, and how to balance it against other demands within organizations. BC’s faculty share real-life experiences about how they are working to innovate the health care industry with students. The rise of convenient care is leading to new innovations and challenges, and Boston College’s MHA program is preparing students to be able to keep pace with all of them.