COVID-19 Communication Resources
During these uncertain times, it’s important to communicate with your patients on how they can seek care and what measures you are taking to keep everyone protected while providing patients with the treatment they need. Here, we have put together resources to help your practice communicate important messages to your patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paradigm Shift of Healthcare Podcast
Recent guests on our Paradigm Shift of Healthcare podcast have discussed the impact of COVID-19, and how telehealth and health tech innovations can help practices take care of patients.
Episode 33: Health Tech Innovations During Changing Times
While the promise and failures of health tech innovations have been well documented in recent years, the turbulent world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is rewriting the rules. Mike Biselli, health tech entrepreneur, chief community officer at BurstIQ, and host of the Passionate Pioneers Podcast, discusses the rapidly changing opportunities for health tech to play a key role in the new healthcare ecosystem.
Episode 34: How Telehealth is Reaching Underserved Communities in Crisis
The rise of telehealth has been one of the lone bright spots in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Daren Anderson, director at ConferMED, a telehealth platform for eConsults, and an expert in safety net practices. Dr. Anderson describes the plight of front-line workers during the outbreak, the different types of telehealth platforms, and their roles in serving patients.
Episode 35: COVID-19 Business Effects for Practices
Practices are scrambling to understand the business effects of COVID-19. Scott, Michael, and Jared point to examples of how practices are communicating with patients, updating their websites, and dealing with other business ramifications of the pandemic. Amid the whirlwind of changes, there are bright spots of hope for providers and patients alike.
How Practices Are Addressing COVID-19 on Their Websites
Just like many businesses across the country, orthopedic, spine, and neuro practices are being affected by the rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even if your practice is unable to perform elective procedures, your patients’ health problems continue to exist. They are likely still in pain, and may be wondering what care options they have in the interim.
This is why it is important to communicate with your patients and keep them updated on what’s happening. Your website is a great place to keep your patients up to date and share any new information you have. Depending on your practice’s situation, there are a few different ways you can share your message.
In this blog post, we’ve put together some examples of how our clients are keeping their patients informed on the latest developments via their websites. You can use these examples to inspire your own practice’s messaging.
Examples of COVID-19 Website Messaging
See examples of how you might notify patients about changes within your practice, including:
- New precautions
- Telehealth visits
- Where to get updates
- Office closures
Advertising & Social Media Options to Reach More Patients
Some practices that are remaining open have started advertising and social media campaigns to let patients know what services are available and how they can seek care, if needed. We have advised several of our customers on advertising COVID-19 related information, and have helped some of our customers set up campaigns. Based on our research and experience, this is our advice regarding ad campaigns:
Paid Search May Not Be the Best Option
Though paid search (Google Ads) works very well for practices under normal circumstances, it may not be the most effective avenue in getting timely messages out to patients. Paid search is dependent on patients searching for specific things in order for your ads to show, and most of our clients that have chosen to keep their campaigns running have continued to see decreases in activity week over week. Google is also limiting how much practices can talk about COVID-19 in ads, so that might be another hindrance to running a paid search campaign.
Add a COVID-19 Update to Your Google Map Listing
Google My Business has begun offering an option for practices to add a COVID-19 update to their Google listings via the Posts section of the Google My Business admin area. There, you can add a post to your listing that will be labeled “COVID-19 Update,” and you can also add a link over to relevant information on your website if desired. Anyone who sees you listings in search results would be able to see the update.
Use Facebook Ads to Reach a Wider Audience
Though interactions with Google Ads have been decreasing over the past month, our clients who have Facebook ad campaigns have continued to do well. The benefit of Facebook Ads is that you do not have to depend on users searching for specific things to have your ads show up, so you can get your message in front of a wider audience. In a situation like this where it is difficult to predict how or if patients might seek care, Facebook ads can be very beneficial.
However, there are a couple of things to note about Facebook ads:
- If your practice does not already have a Facebook page, you will need to set one up.
- Facebook restricts certain phrasing in ads. It is important to avoid “you” phrases like “If you have an injury, we can help,” as Facebook considers that to be identifying PHI. Instead, opt for more universal phrasing like “We are open from 9am – 5pm daily to take care of injuries.”