During the early weeks of the pandemic, many healthcare practices and facilities cut back on services and hours in order to prepare for the uncertainties of COVID-19. If your facility quit providing diagnostic testing, held off on face to face appointments, and cancelled elective surgeries, you might be making changes now. But patients may still be hesitating to check in for their regular care. A focus on safety in healthcare marketing may be the best choice right now.
Should your patients skip regular healthcare?
Many healthcare consumers got the message in the spring that they should stay away from hospitals and doctors’ offices if at all possible. Only half of Americans now visit their doctors more than once a year, so many people missed their annual visit entirely. Others, especially those with chronic diseases, may have missed more appointments than they can afford.
Doctors may need to reach out more directly with the message that patients shouldn’t skip needed healthcare. Some topics that your website’s blog and social media may need to cover:
- The importance of flu shots and children’s vaccinations
- The need to catch up on mammograms, colonoscopies, and the like
- The value of seeing a doctor about symptoms they’ve been ignoring
The general message needs to be conveyed: it’s now safer to visit your doctor than to skip needed healthcare.
Your blog, no matter what you call it, is the best place to get this message across.
Keeping patients safe at your facility
You should also be sure that your safety protocols are easy to find on your website. Again, your blog is a perfect place to share this information. But you might also want to show this on your homepage.
Some of the topics in this area that you’ll want to cover:
- Patient requirements or regulations, such as wearing a mask, waiting in cars instead of the waiting room, or checking in by phone
- Sanitation in waiting areas, exam rooms, and lab areas
- Precautions being taken by staff
- Alternatives to face to face appointments, such as Telehealth visits
If possible, include a phone number where people can ask questions about these issues. Then make sure you add the answers to those questions at your website.
Calls to action
Reassure patients that your facility is safe, make it clear that skipping medical care is not — and then make it easy for both established and new patients to make appointments. Safety in healthcare marketing is a sensible focus.
A booking engine, a number to call to make appointments, or an online message form lets patients take action while they’re thinking about it.
Do you need help making these changes at your website? We can help!