Patient volumes are slowly creeping back up and for some providers, faster than others. While experts anticipate hospitals will have lower than normal volumes in 2021, primary care visits have returned and in-person appointments are starting to creep up with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines.
As patients feel comfortable returning to the doctor, several trends are becoming apparent.
Open to New Providers
For starters, many healthcare professionals have either been let go or moved around to different providers in 2020 due to the pandemic. The doctor a patient might have had at the beginning of 2020 may no longer be the same anymore, no matter what type of provider they have. This may cause a patient to rethink their provider entirely and look for someone new.
Need a Doctor
On the other hand, patients who didn't visit their doctor very often, or at all, prior to the pandemic are starting to realize how important it is to see their doctor. According to the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™, nearly one in five patients doesn’t have a primary care physician. This is especially the case for younger populations. What’s also troubling, the same percentage of healthcare consumers visit their primary care once every two years or less.
With all of this in mind, patients are starting to look at their options and find a fit that works for them.
Here’s what providers can do to take full advantage of these market share possibilities during COVID-19.
Market Share Opportunities for Providers
Better Engage with Patients
This is the perfect time to find better ways to engage with your patients. While many other providers will use demographics to target patients or generic messaging to interact with healthcare consumers, PatientBond makes the process a science by implementing psychographic segmentation. This segmentation model narrows in on patient beliefs, values and ideals to determine what their inner motivations are and use those to push them to take action on their health. The PatientBond model is made up of five segments, all of which view healthcare differently from each other. While one segment may be easily motivated to take charge of their health like Self Achievers, another may not make it as much of a priority for themselves, but their family members instead like Priority Jugglers.
Providers benefit when they have a good understanding of how patients individually view their health because they build a stronger connection with them. It also starts the relationship well from the get-go if they’re new patients, but even current patients appreciate the more thoughtful and empathetic approach. Overall, patients benefit by being more eager to improve their health outcomes and providers benefit from having more patients use their services.
Reconnect with Old Patients
Welcome patients back with open arms by reaching out to them. Whether they have lost touch with you or are eager to come back, you should do this by sharing communications with them through email, text, app notifications, etc. with a digital health platform.
You could send them information about changing COVID-19 precautions, new care offerings, events, screenings and more. And by utilizing psychographics integrated within the PatientBond Digital Health Platform, you can motivate them to take you up on it.
Promote Other Offerings for Patients
Other than connecting with patients, what ways should providers lure them back? Anything that’s new, or at least new to them.
Patients don’t have to come in for annual check-ups or emergency visits. Note your preventative health screenings for cancer and other illnesses, mental health services and if you’re still actively taking part in the fight against COVID-19, COVID-19 tests and vaccines. If you have other specialties, don’t be shy about highlighting them. Patients may not look into these services right away, but they will keep them in mind when they do.
New Patient Outreach
Healthcare providers don’t know where to begin on bringing in new patients and that’s completely understandable because they’re not marketers. That’s why we created the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™. This interactive dashboard allows providers to look at healthcare consumer data on the latest trends, including current behaviors in the midst of COVID-19. That data is heat mapped and can be used by providers to hyper-target potential patients in their area over communication channels. It makes the daunting process much easier.
After a difficult year in healthcare, providers need to take this opportunity to ignite growth for years to come. If you’re looking for a partner to help you get there, contact us today to learn more about the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™.