Back to Insights

Healthcare Messaging Tips during COVID-19

Right now, clear communication with your patients is key. We’ve analyzed the healthcare & telehealth market to see what kind of messaging resonates with your audience.

Many hospitals & healthcare organizations are on the frontline right now & have focused their messaging on essential services & COVID-19 best practices. But keeping up with the quickly moving communication trends is critical although difficult. We understand that adjusting to the “new normal” is a challenge for healthcare marketers, with the biggest obstacle being maintaining patient engagement. To help, we’ve analyzed the healthcare & telehealth market & found some interesting examples of the kind of messaging that is resonating with this audience. Read on to see these important insights.

Telehealth Proves Valuable

The number one response for healthcare provider support is quickly pivoting to enable online and/or video visits with patients. In light of COVID-19, regulations that were previously barriers have dissolved & providers were able to move fast for their patients. Not only did this shift protect patients, but it also served to protect healthcare workers from unnecessary exposure. A great example was set by Vanderbilt Nursing when they provided “hands-on training” to students amid the pandemic. Consider developing a “meet & greet” session where individuals can test out the telehealth interface, talk to a doctor & just get comfortable with the idea.

Essential Services: Communicate Changes Clearly

With regulations & social distancing restrictions varied across the nation, keeping potential patients aware of company hours & other changes proved imperative. Essential services did well by updating their websites, apps, & on-location signage to explain any changes clearly using highly visual & easy-to-understand icons. Eyecare services became even more relevant as our increased screen time could negatively impact our vision. To respond to this, brands like Warby Parker & The Eye Care Institute pivoted their messaging to ensure that patients had access to optical services in order to maintain their contact prescriptions among other needs.

Mental Health Gains New Awareness 

With ongoing uncertainty about when the pandemic will end, mental health hotlines & services are seeing a spike in usage. A consumer survey by McKinsey & Company, found that anxiety & distress during COVID-19 are leading to substance abuse at home. Online therapy services provide easy access for individuals to learn how to cope with the ongoing crisis. On social media, consumers are sharing transparent ways on how to manage downtime to avoid spiraling moods & mindsets. Meditation apps are giving away tools for free to communities that are facing the toughest situations such as free subscriptions for healthcare workers & individuals living in hard-hit cities, & providing mental health tools for kids to better understand the world we’re living in.

Pivoting to the Need

Brand names across industries saw a gap in PPE needs & have offered to shift their supply chains to help. This is no different for healthcare: SmileDirectClub, a teledentistry company, pivoted its 3D printing capabilities to focus on creating face masks for frontline workers. The household name brand Johnson & Johnson went all-in to help research & develop a vaccine, with a commitment to provide one billion vaccines worldwide for emergency pandemic use.

Supporting Frontline Workers

Healthcare communities are rallying around frontline workers to show support. Hospitals & organizations are creating templated social campaigns so individuals can easily share their support. The University of Chicago Medicine implemented a contact feature on its website in order to get messages from the public directly to the frontline workers. Websites & social header images have shifted to thanking UC Medicine employees & encouraging the public to thank them as well.

What’s Changed at The Hospital

With nonessential medical services coming to a complete halt, healthcare organizations had to address any changes their facilities were undergoing in the fight to reduce the spread of the virus. In our research, we found that many cancer treatment centers took proactive steps in asking patients about symptoms & exposure prior to their scheduled appointments. These organizations also were quick to address the high level of anxiety for immunocompromised patients by communicating their comprehensive strategies & plans to keep facilities clean & patients safe from exposure. The world may feel at a standstill, but mothers are still thinking about their birth plans & maternity wards were prepared to address these new stressors. We saw messaging that was, again, proactive & informative for those concerned.

We know that the healthcare industry is under pressure right now and, hopefully, this information has provided some guidance to get your brand messaging on track with consumer trends. See more examples here: OvareGroup Healthcare Communication Themes.