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Marketing Remote and Virtual Capabilities to Patients

It seemed that within a matter of days facilities realized that non-urgent medical appointments would need to be moved to telehealth consultations. As they scrambled to establish methods and systems, many forgot one key aspect, how do you let your patients know the programs are in place? How can you explain to a patient in non-medical jargon that they can still share medical imaging with you ahead of an appointment?

A patient that is a regular visitor to their physician’s office or their local hospital is often a patient who is also most at risk of developing a serious COVID-19 infection. Physicians should consider utilizing telehealth for these patients to reduce their time spent in public. While there is a stereotype that older patients may not be as technologically savvy, several studies have shown that Boomers are, in fact, very much in favor of digital health and are interested in using technology to facilitate reminders, after-hours visits, daily support, classes, and appointment follow-ups. The Trump administration has also announced the expansion of telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries. This includes paying doctors and facilities for telehealth services in replacement of traditional hospital visits, medical practice visits, and even mental health care in some cases.

There are three ways to quickly communicate these new services with your patients:

  1. Update your website with a message. Consider adding an alert bar across your website or homepage that links to your organization’s latest updates related to COVID-19. 
  2. Send a newsletter-style email that outlines your availability, recommendations, and resources.
  3. Set-up a texting platform to alert patients via text that telehealth consultations are now available.

On average, your potential patients will only give your website or email 3-5 seconds to gauge the above criteria and decide if they should stay or leave. During those few precious seconds, you need to grab attention and get your message across. Be sure to start with an informative headline that explains the most important part of your value proposition. Your headline should be a top-level explanation of your service. Imagine your ideal patient and write as if you are speaking to them. Industry jargon and technical terminology will not resonate with anyone you are trying to reach.

For example, let’s say you want to offer patients the opportunity to upload prior medical imaging ahead of an appointment. Here’s some example text below; you’ll notice we kept things brief, used bullets, and shared a screenshot.

Need to upload medical images for remote consultation? You can do so through our ImageShare page.

To share images:

  • Visit your ImageShare link: [ADD LINK HERE]
  • Register or login using your email and password

Hospital Telehealth Program

For more information regarding patient communications, a sample patient portal flyer, and additional ways to receive imaging from patients (rather than CDs), check out our new patient marketing guide.

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Catherine Slotnick, Marketing Manager

About Catherine Slotnick

Catherine Slotnick is a passionate healthcare marketer with a deep interest in the latest & greatest in the Health IT space. As Ambra Health's Director of Marketing, Catherine primarily focuses on creating and sharing thought leadership content in the radiology and informatics space. Catherine graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology & Art History. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and petting dogs that aren't hers.

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