While COVID-19 is slowing down worldwide, more people are still putting off non-urgent care to prevent the risk of contracting viruses in healthcare settings. While it’s the safest option during the pandemic, this can put pressure on medical practices by losing a lot of patients. It can also endanger public health if people keep avoiding the clinical environment.
The adoption of telehealth services in 2020 was a suitable response during a health crisis. This allowed patients to receive care at home while medical practitioners can continue their practice when everyone is afraid to visit a clinic or hospital. Some are even utilizing digital marketing strategies to increase patient volume. For example, specialized healthcare services, particularly eye care clinics, are investing in an eye care PR company to market their telehealth offerings.
While it’s more than a year since the rise of telehealth, many realized that it has an adoption problem. Although there are almost 80% of patients who want to try telehealth, physicians, especially those offering independent practices, are reluctant about this new treatment line. So if you don’t want to lag behind the increasing demand for telehealth services, it’s important to adopt marketing tactics to better promote telemedicine as a new healthcare service. Although the terms telehealth vs telemedicine differ from each other, they are nevertheless interrelated, or rather derive from one another.
Craft compelling messaging
Before starting a marketing campaign, it’s important to identify the benefits and fears surrounding telehealth. This allows you to craft effective messaging and find the best platform to address patients’ questions about your new service.
For many decades, the healthcare sector has established in-person consultations as the best way to receive treatment. This is why it’s been a great challenge to adopt an unconventional form of treatment because most patients prefer to see their doctor for physical examinations.
The idea of explaining your symptoms to a doctor in a virtual environment is a new experience for most patients. Some practices are even taking their time and effort to get their consumers to consider telemedicine.
Emphasize the benefits and find out the reasons what’s holding patients from embracing telehealth and what may encourage them to book an appointment. From there, you’ll make the patients feel more understood by addressing their needs and questions through a compelling message that is helpful, reassuring, and educational.
Every patient has its unique challenges, and the benefit of telehealth may vary depending on their needs. Your goal is to frame your message according to the specific objections and pains of the patients. For example, senior citizens are more prone to contract viruses by going outside to see a doctor. Present telehealth to them as the safest way to consult a doctor without leaving their homes. This way, you get to be realistic when offering solutions to their unique situations.
Nothing strengthens patients’ trust than telling success stories from other patients who share the same conditions as them. If you have patients who previously availed of your telehealth service, take this opportunity by asking about their experiences and posting them as testimonials on your website. But before doing this, ask them whether they want their testimonial to be anonymous. You can also distribute customer satisfaction surveys to make the task easier.
Another way is to offer discounts and promos to patients who refer a new patient to avail of your telehealth service. Remember, word-of-mouth is still a proven way to increase patient volume. But if you’re just starting out your telehealth offering, search for case studies from legitimate healthcare organizations. You’ll likely find content about patients who attained recovery through telehealth. At the same time, hearing about unique experiences in telehealth will help you determine potential issues and provide solutions to improve.
Take advantage of success stories by posting them on your website, social media platforms, and other patient communications platforms.
Make it accessible
One reason why not all patients are availing of telehealth is their inability to access it. There are plenty of communication platforms out there where online consultations can take place. These include videoconferencing tools, instant messaging applications, and specialized telehealth platforms.
Make sure any website or mobile application can support your telehealth services. Add a booking feature to your website so patients can easily book their appointments online. Also, provide detailed information on how the online consultation will move forward by briefing the patients a few days before the appointment.
Since telehealth is a relatively new healthcare offering, physicians and patients are likely struggling with how to embrace this new clinical intervention. Knowing exactly how to market this service is a great way to communicate the benefits of telehealth. Follow our suggestions above to spread the word about the quality and convenience of your telehealth service to your patients.