As radiology practices across the country look to reopen and begin working through the massive backlog of delayed care, patient outreach is a critical piece of the puzzle.
One recent survey of about 1,000 U.S. adults found that more than one-third see going to the hospital as a “risky” behavior. And another poll out of the American Cancer Society discovered that about 87% of cancer patients said the pandemic has impacted their ability to receive care.
Providers must devise strategies to reach these individuals and quell concerns that they may contract COVID-19, one imaging expert noted in a blog post shared last week.
“This fear will keep some patients away and efforts to bring patients back for their annual checkups and other imaging procedures will require additional marketing efforts,” David Wilson, director of marketing and corporate communications at Hitachi Healthcare Americas, wrote May 26. “Patients not happy with the answers to key questions about their safety will take their business elsewhere. This will require some additional efforts.”
Wilson offered radiology practice leaders four tips to aid in their “recovery marketing” efforts:
1. Prep both reception and scheduling staffers with “talk tracks” about the protections the practice has put in place to make sure patients are not exposed to the virus.
2. Brief customers in advance for the additional screening measures, such as temperature checks, they can expect when arriving for their imaging appointments.
3. Adopt check-in procedures that minimize any potential wait time and maintain social distancing—and promote these changes to the community.
4. Add additional hours and locations for patients to visit as you work through the backlog, and communicate them to the public, too.
Wilson’s advice is part of several predictions on how the imaging space will evolve following the COVID crisis. You can read the rest of the piece below.