Marketing and Communications are Essential During this Health Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on medical practices. Surveys reported that approximately 65% of patients were unlikely to visit a specialist’s office for any reason during the first two months of the health crisis.

Community-based providers need to reverse that trend, but it requires a focused effort. Practices need to stay connected with their patients, potential patients and referring network partners.

How Do You Stay Connected?

Communication is most important during this time. As impact of the pandemic surges or subsides in different regions, your efforts need to be focused on how to get your patients to return to the care of their health. While they may still have concerns, knowledge and information will help allay some of their fears.
Some tips include:
  • Keep your website and social media pages updated with the latest information for your area, as well as the procedures you have implemented to help patients feel safe returning to in-office visits. Remember that not everyone is on social media platforms, so make sure to include emails in your marketing.
  • Do not neglect those social media platforms. Use video and other content to relay your messages. Video does not have to be shot professionally, but utilize online resources to help ensure you are presenting your providers in the best way possible. Authenticity is what patients will relate to during this time. Social media helps to also reach those people who could become new patients.
  • Make sure you market on your platforms any telehealth options and explain how a telehealth appointment works. If patients do not have that knowledge, they may be anxious about even making that type of appointment.
  • If you have a budget, consider OTT (over-the-top) advertising where content is delivered directly to viewers over the internet through streaming video services or devices. This type of advertising is an effective medium to reach people as they spend more time online.
  • Just as effective, some providers have used telephone calls to stay connected to patients. Having a conversation with a patient who is thinking about canceling an appointment may help the patient feel safer about that in-office visit.
In addition, stay connected to your referring partners and even consider broadening your network to include other health professionals and even non-profit organizations or community groups just to keep your practice at top of mind.

There may also be opportunities to deepen your roots within the community, like helping at health events or working with local businesses to assist in their health needs. You may even try contacting providers and practices that might have referred in the past but may have lost your information in the day-to-day activities.

It all goes back to communication – this is a crucial activity for your practice’s success.

As practices take action to protect the health of their communities, Specialty Physician Services of AmerisourceBergen has created a campaign for a return to a “Now Normal.” The #weAREcommunity campaign amplifies what doctors have been telling their patients: NOW is the time to prioritize health and get back to the doctor.

Follow #weAREcommunity on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on the IPN Solutions channels.

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