Telehealth has been around since 1959. It was not until 2010 that it gained prominence. There were regulations to share health information safely and legally. In 2016, The Health Resources and Services Administration received significant funding. This helped them expand telemedicine access to rural areas. Since then, telemedicine’s adoption by healthcare practitioners has continued to happen, but at a relatively slow rate.
This began to change in 2020. This was largely due to the increase in demand for telehealth brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. A customer survey conducted by McKinsey in 2020 revealed that telemedicine grew from 11% in 2019 to 46% in the first quarter of 2020. As a result, healthcare providers provided video consultations to 50-175 times more patients via telehealth than they did before the onset of the pandemic.
Why It’s Time to Implement Telemedicine
For doctors who haven’t started implementing telehealth, now is the right time, and here’s the reason why:
- Physicians can expand their reach to a great number of patients.
- Telemedicine improves the quality of healthcare and patient engagement.
- It increases patient satisfaction.
- It increases practice efficiency and revenue and reduces patient no-shows.
- An increasing number of healthcare plans are covering telemedicine.
- It reduces the cost of healthcare provision.
How to Promote Telehealth
Once you decide to offer telemedicine, please get the word out to your patients so that they can take advantage of it. That means developing a good marketing strategy.
Here are some approaches to marketing telemedicine:
Make the Most of Your Website
If you already have a website providing information about your practice, use it as a launchpad for your telemedicine services. This is a good place to start not only for your current patients but also for new ones. Many patients start looking for a new provider by doing an online search.
It would help if you also made your telemedicine services visible. Add a message or button showing that you have “telemedicine available.” Add it to each page of your website – remember not all visitors start at your homepage. By directly linking telemedicine information, patients can clearly see where to find more information.
Take Advantage of Social Media
When you think of social media, possibly Facebook is the first platform to come to mind. But don’t forget many patients may also use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Regular social media posts can help you build your telemedicine credibility.
You can also boost your posts’ reach by investing in ads on social media. This will help get the word out to your current and prospective patients. It will have a wider reach to people in your community. You can also encourage visitors to share your posts with their friends.
Get Patient Testimonials
Patient reviews and testimonials are an important and valuable part of telemedicine promotion. In the healthcare industry, reviews can go a long way to help new patients decide on a healthcare provider. In fact, as many as 84% of patients say that they trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.
Make it easy for your patients to leave comments or reviews by having a page for comments on your website. At the end of an online conversation, ask them if they would mind leaving a review. Encourage reviews in your email newsletter and on your social media pages.
Create Email or Newsletters
Emails or newsletters are generally a great way to remind your patients of the service you offer. Include your new telemedicine services in your communication too. You can also use your newsletter to update your practice and the staff there so that your patients feel connected.
But don’t just use your newsletter as a promotion tool. It’s also a good way to provide your patients with valuable health information. For example, you could include an article in the newsletter on up-to-date health news, such as information on COVID-19 vaccines, etc.
Publish an Article
Write an article for one of the popular health and fitness magazines such as Psychology Today, Health, or Eating Well. Not only is this a good way to raise awareness of health issues, but it’s a great way to promote your services.
You could even write an article that focused specifically on telemedicine services and how these can benefit patients and save them time and money. Be creative and put your medical services out there.
Check out Your Competition
Researching your competitors is key to helping you plan your marketing strategy. Please take a look at what they are doing to market their telemedicine services. Figure out ways that you can improve your marketing strategies.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with paid media advertising, search engine activity, and optimization. Explore topics and content on telemedicine to set up your strategy and promote accordingly.
Target your Demographic
Just as you choose a different style to talk to different patients, adopt the same with your online audience. Bear in mind that different demographics will have different reasons for choosing telehealth and different needs.
For example, millennials are more likely to give telemedicine a try than seniors, who may have difficulty understanding the technology. Your approach should be geared to individual persona if you want to reach them all successfully.
The time to start promoting your telemarketing services is today. Use these strategies to raise your patients’ awareness of your services and their benefits. You have a great opportunity to expand your reach and promote this growing area of healthcare.
Check out caretimemd.com for more information about telemedicine solutions and features.