What a marketing checklist should include for launching telehealth services for healthcare digital marketers and healthcare organizations and practitioners who wish to establish telemedicine services. Putting off routine or non-emergent care is the safest and responsible option in the current situation; however, it could also be financially challenging for many medical practices. It may also mean that many patients cannot get the care they immediately need because they are avoiding a clinical environment. Many practices are launching virtual health services or telehealth to continue offering care. Building a strong telehealth program begins with getting the word out.
Between social distancing rules, stay-at-home orders in effect, and the tragic statistics that show us that 43% of COVID-19 related deaths are associated with nursing facilities, the home health industries can provide a vital option right now for senior citizens and their families, made even more appealing through telehealth services. According to Definitive Healthcareâ€™s Home Health Agency Study from December 2019, more than 25% of home health agencies announced their plans to launch telehealth services within the next two years.
The door for home health agencies to provide more virtual and remote care than ever before have been opened up by recent changes from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As home health agencies work to provide quality, safe care for patients, the adoption of telemedicine services has accelerated. Whether you are considering implementing virtual care services or telemedicine or have already done so, ensuring that patients and their families, and referring providers are aware of this new opportunity is just as important as implementing the technology.
A marketing checklist for launching telehealth services
Here is a marketing checklist that will help you market your telehealth services as and when you choose to launch it.
1) Update your website:
The fact that we live in a digital age is more apparent than ever in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to outline the advantages of remote monitoring and telemedicine on your website. Create a dedicated page on your website to explain telehealth services and answer commonly asked questions. Make sure that you add a prominent graphic or link on your website homepage promoting your virtual health services. You may want to address certain questions that your audience might have in a â€˜Frequently Asked Questionsâ€™ section about your new telehealth program like:
- What kind of virtual care or telehealth services is your facility providing?
- How does remote monitoring or telehealth improve the quality of care provided to the patients?
- How do patients use these services? Do telehealth services cost extra?
Consider using a chatbot or a chat feature if you are on the receiving end of a high volume of questions, or if patients, caregivers, and others call you for troubleshooting help or more information. You can use a chatbot to answer common questions with pre-programmed answers if you are getting the same questions repeatedly about telemedicine marketing or COVID-19. Keep in mind that any chat features you use need to be HIPAA-compliant.
2) Get the word out:
While your website is crucial if you donâ€™t help the vast populace of doctors, patients and caregivers find you, they will never make it there. Some affordable and simple ways to market your business while simultaneously highlighting the benefits of your newly introduced remote monitoring or telehealth services are as follows:
- Updating your local listings: Promote your new offers on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You can also create a small post or promotion for free on certain platforms like Google My Business. Third-party platforms such as ZocDoc, Healthgrades, and Yelp could also be useful. On Google My Business, you can stand out from the crowd and be assured that people looking up home health agencies know about your new services, by updating your â€˜telehealth info-linkâ€™ and â€˜COVID-19 info linkâ€™.
- Drop a quick, concise email to providers and facilities that frequently refer to healthcare digital marketing agency about your new services. Many consumers simply take the suggestion of the in-patient facility or the hospital that they are leaving, although consumer choice does play a vital role in home health selection.
3) Making the most of social media:
According to statistics, social media usage has spiked by 61% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media is a great way to promote your services to caregivers and patients; however, posting on Facebookâ€™s business page will only enable you to reach 6.4% of your followers. One way to reach more people without investing in advertising is by using the â€˜storiesâ€™ feature on Instagram and Facebook. Additionally, a small expenditure on social media can go a long way in helping you reach more of your followers. People in your community who do not already follow you on social media can be connected to using advanced audience targeting.
4) Boosting your Google presence:
One of the most effective ways to bring patients to your home health agency is running ads on Google Search because you can then put your agency in front of caregivers and patients when they are looking for you. Two types of ad campaigns could be run on Google:
- Ad campaigns focused on people looking up your services. Make sure you promote telehealth and remote monitoring in your ads and create additional campaigns based on search items like â€˜home health serviceâ€™ or â€˜home health agency.â€™
- Ad campaigns focused on people looking up your brand. Creating a keyword list with your agencyâ€™s name will go a long way to ensure that you put your best foot forward as a home health agency offering innovative options to improve care, whenever existing patients are looking for your services on the internet.
5) Reaching out to a wider community:
Digital advertising is now more vital than ever, when people are staying at home, and tends to be much less expensive than traditional advertising. You can reach potential patients and their caregivers by spending a major portion of their time utilizing YouTube ads or Google Display.
Be sure to continue adapting your messaging and telehealth marketing to demonstrate how your new telehealth services promote safety and health now and in the future, even as communities begin to reopen and transition back to pre-COVID-19 normalcy. This concludes Compendious Med Works' list of what a marketing checklist should include for launching telehealth services.