Telehealth is not recent but it has been reluctant to be accepted by health care professionals and the general public.
The truth is, beyond telehealth, the healthcare industry has been slow to embrace digital transformation, despite the fact that most industry members recognize that digital engagement is something they will eventually have to adopt.
The reasons for this are two fold: Healthcare customers are expecting electronic self-service capabilities like they are getting in other sectors, and now they cannot provide face-to-face contact with providers or are unable to visit doctors’ offices or care facilities for fear of COVID-19 exposure.
In recognition of the immediate need to adopt forms of digital engagement, the FCC has made available over $200 million to help healthcare providers acquire and deploy telehealth technology, and the HHS has eliminated regulations that prevented medicare and medicaid from reimbursing telehealth visits.
The good news is that healthcare customers want and expect more focused and personalized contact with their care ecosystem providers and other participants.
Open the digital front door
In order to help patients familiarize themselves with the use of telehealth services, healthcare providers offer free trial consultations and advice on COVID-19 cases to help determine which new and existing patients should stay at home or visit the facility.
Telehealth capabilities will be included in a clinical workflow for COVID-19, similar to how some healthcare providers are now using telehealth to consult on non-COVID-19 healthcare for existing patients.
Healthcare providers may want to reach out to key patient segments with relevant content and messaging to complement frontline efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.
Track, track, track
Telehealth may be marketed online but unless providers track efforts against specific key performance indicators properly, they will not know what works. Thankfully, digital marketing helps healthcare professionals to learn almost instantly about the success of their services. Look at the most widely used telehealth facilities, and compare utilization increases with dollars spent on digital marketing. Become more advanced by calculating cost-per-telehealth-consultation, and go deeper into how telehealth services impact personal habits and use of facilities.
No time like the present
Healthcare providers are currently managing the frontlines, but when the COVID-19 crisis subsides it will be clear that telehealth education and promotion within their service areas will be necessary to ensure that patients feel that they have a direct line to the healthcare system.
Through quickly pivoting to the changing demands that consumers put on healthcare firms, these firms (and critical service providers) will not only meet urgent and pressing needs, they will create a digital platform to better serve their clients and employees. After the crisis is over they should be ready as the primary business model for the “new normal” of digital interaction. Read More