Fall is historically a busy time for healthcare promotions and events, but last year looked quite different. Due to the pandemic, health systems suspended elective procedures, and many patients delayed preventative care such as annual wellness visits, mammograms, and colonoscopies.
As the number of fully vaccinated people continues to grow across the US and patients return to in-person visits, health systems must create patient engagement campaigns to recoup lost revenue. Here are five patient engagement campaigns that your health system should focus on this fall.
Schedule Overdue Annual Wellness Visits
While there isn't exact data on how the pandemic affected annual wellness visits, we can assume there was a decline. With many patients overdue for their annual wellness visit, now is the perfect opportunity to reach out to those patients in your health system that have missed or delayed their annual exams.
These wellness visits can significantly contribute to your practice's bottom line, with many practices receiving approximately $120 to $170 in reimbursement per patient visit. Even more, as youth sporting events resume this fall, the need for sports physicals will increase.
Consider creating a targeted outreach campaign to parents in your system who have children that might need a physical before school begins. Be sure to include a scheduling link in your campaign so parents can easily see your availability and conveniently schedule an appointment.
Retain Your Current Patient Population
Patient retention is a vital component of a successful and profitable healthcare organization. There are multiple touchpoints along the patient journey, which determine how likely a patient is to continue receiving care from your practice or seek a competitor. Ensure you retain patients by frequently communicating the services and care options you offer.
For example, consider utilizing a message broadcast solution to let patients know that you offer online scheduling or virtual visits, and provide a link for them to schedule an appointment. By educating patients on convenient care options, you will likely increase patient satisfaction.
Even more, make sure that you are providing post-discharge follow-up to ensure patients continue to have a positive patient experience after they leave your facility. Scheduling follow-up appointments prior to a patient leaving your facility can help to retain patients in your health system. Your health system should also consider implementing patient surveys to receive feedback after an appointment is completed.
Schedule Flu Shots
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season can start as early as October, which means it’s right around the corner. Last year's flu season was mild due to the social distancing measures that were in place. With immunity to flu viruses decreasing due to the minor flu season of 2020, experts warn that this flu season could be severe.
Health systems need to create flu shot campaigns and capture consumers before they leverage walk-in clinics. For patients to choose your organization over a walk-in clinic, you must provide convenient, high-touch patient experiences. Meet consumers' expectations of flu shot clinics by providing online scheduling, appointment reminders, flu shot FAQ hotlines, and outbound phone calls.
Even more, flu shot campaigns create an opportunity to attract new patients to your organization. In fact, during the 2019-2020 flu season, 30% of patients who booked flu shot appointments online through Stericycle Intelligent Scheduling were new to the health system.
Attract New Patients
While retaining your current patient population is vital to your practice's fiscal success, attracting and securing new patients should also be prioritized. To boost patient acquisition, you must understand how your patients are searching and finding you.
When looking for new healthcare providers, patients check various websites, read online reviews about you, and scan your social media. This means you must have a comprehensive digital strategy to compete and win against your competition.
Your health system needs to ensure you are actively posting on social media, creating new patient content such as blogs and videos, and updating and expanding your Google My Business listing.
In addition, patients want to see everything that their providers have to offer. Ensure that you are showcasing all patient offerings such as online classes, health programs, educational webinars, and more. Don’t forget to utilize a scheduling solution for your classes and events to help maximize your attendance.
Even more, look at your physician referral program and ensure it's fully optimized. While you might have a dedicated staff for referrals, utilizing a referral management solution can reduce staff burden, bring more patients through your door, and improve health outcomes.
Virtual visits became the "new normal" for many patients over the past 18 months. While virtual visits aren't all appointment types, they remain an efficient and convenient way for patients to receive care.
Now, both patients and physicians are turning to hybrid care — a combination of in-person and virtual visits. With hybrid care models, patients can still have the convenience of virtual visits but can see their physician in-person when appropriate.
However, for hybrid care models to be successful, health systems must establish comprehensive, interconnected workflows that address your workforce, technology, policies and regulations, and even patient engagement. By addressing these barriers and establishing a hybrid care strategy, you can better streamline and fill your practice's schedule.
As we approach Fall, our patient engagement solutions can help your health system launch successful campaigns to promote annual wellness visits, PCP scheduling, service line campaigns, flu shot clinics, school physicals, and monthly awareness campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness or Prostate Cancer Awareness.
As the United States begins to rebound from the pandemic, it's time for your health system to focus on launching campaigns that will help you attract and retain patients while also recouping lost revenue. To learn more strategies that you can implement now to recoup lost revenue, download our eBook: 5 Patient Engagement Strategies to Recoup Revenue.