For most professionals, telemedicine is information-protected communication on medical issues through a specialized video messenger. Initially, it was not designed for patients, but for medical meetings.
Of course, there is a lot of talk about it now. The reasons are clear.
During the pandemic, the American Psychiatric Association, or APA, asked 2,000 psychologists and psychotherapists about their workflow. Approximately 74% of specialists reported that they consult clients only remotely, and 16% — that they consult both remotely and in person.
Telehealth shortens the path from clicking on the link to a face-to-face appointment. Remote services are convenient for the patient and save his time. Healthcare providers get more work and reduce the cost of full-time appointments as the demand for them grows.
However, many medical practices still fear it and do not understand how to implement it. In conclusion, there is interest and a sense of perspective, but there is also no understanding of what it is eaten with yet. But the first "swallows" already offer telemedicine services to patients.
In this article we are analysing how telemedicine works and how to effectively promote new telemedicine services.
Read more about:
- Who needs telehealth service
- Why patients choose online medical help
- Telemedicine marketing
And more. Stay tuned!
What Healthcare Organizations Need Telemedicine?
Not everyone needs telemedicine. Not all clinics and not all patients.
How can you tell that you are the one who really needs it?
First, develop a digital marketing model of the project and evaluate its economic efficiency. Do not consider telemedicine as a source of high revenue. It's silly to think that consultations, even online, can earn millions.
When did standard clinics earn money only from consultations? Never. Even if it lasts twenty minutes, that is three patients per hour with an average check of £80. Thus, it’s about £3000 for a full 12-hour shift without a lunch break.
Subtract the costs — what happens? You understand yourself. Clinics earn money on manipulations of various invasiveness, and you can't conduct them remotely yet.
Although they do not make all the money from it, they do provide services, save the patient's time, make the initial appointment more efficient, cover remote regions, and increase primary contact conversion.
If you are thinking about getting new patients via telemedicine, evaluate the needs using healthcare marketing.
- Is a certain tool effective for you, which will provide the patient with a remote consultation?
- Will it affect the growth of conversion from click to face-to-face visit or manipulation?
- Will the investments in your clinic pay off?
- Will the consultation lose its quality if it is conducted online?
So, for which healthcare services is telemedicine suitable?
Telemedicine can be used to provide a variety of medical services:
As you can see, virtual visits can become a part of everyday routine for many of your specialists. This is if you follow our advice on building a strong telehealth marketing plan.
Why Do Patients Choose Telemedicine?
Despite the development of medicine, patients still cannot get the medical care they need in many remote regions. Residents of small villages have to travel to large regional centers to be examined. If patients do not have the opportunity to travel somewhere, they cannot get help.
You will be able to conduct online patient appointments directly in Medesk. There is no need to use personal numbers, employee contacts or third-party programs. Within the platform, all actions and connections are performed on behalf of your clinic.Learn more >>
Virtual care solves this problem. With a smartphone and the Internet, the patient can consult with almost any doctor. Telemedicine is also ideal for patients who work a lot, travel or cannot get to the clinic for some reason. An online doctor can clarify the symptoms, write prescriptions, and adjust the appointment. In the remote format, patients can also close and extend sick leave.
So, the next vital step in marketing telehealth services is to assess whether your potential and current patients need this service.
For example, in the field of reproduction, patients usually arrive already with the necessary laboratory tests, usually with a diagnosis of infertility. After months or years of trying to get pregnant, a woman comes in with an anamnesis on a particular day of the cycle.
Why does such a patient need an initial telemedicine consultation?
To come to a face-to-face appointment with the diagnostic results and not waste extra time on additional examination and trips if she is from another city.
If you run a speech therapy practice, or give psychological consultations, then the answer is strictly positive - yes, people need your telehealth services, so be up for it.
Building an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Telemedicine Service
Promotion begins with the first two basic steps: you need to identify your client and map his journey.
After them, you can think about website optimization, launching an e-mail newsletter, blogging, content marketing, and participating in events.
Now let's talk about each step in more detail.
Think about who your client is
First, determine your target audience, and then decide which services you can provide online. To do this, you need to conduct research and answer the following questions:
- Where do the people who will use your services live: in the same city, in the suburbs or remote regions?
- At what time is it convenient for clients to consult a doctor? What schedule do they work on?
- Who most often asks for help? What are the values and needs of these people?
- What should the client do now to get to the doctor?
- How often does he cancel the appointment and why? What is his pain? Can you eliminate it with the help of online consultations?
Make a map of the patient journey
Let's say a potential patient has fever and sore throat. He is looking for a doctor who will cure him. But he will become a client only when he shows up to the clinic, pays for the service and gets an appointment. To become a patient, he needs:
- Enter the keyword "help with sore throat" into the search engine and select a website — your clinic's website should be displayed in the search results.
- Now the patient will be taken to a page with a description of the symptoms and the address of the clinic. If there is an online record, he surfs on.
- The patient gets acquainted with the admission conditions: what kind of VMI they take, empty slots in the schedule and so on.
- He then books an online appointment after signing up.
- The doctor examines the patient and gives a diagnosis - angina.
- The patient is given a prescription and a treatment plan.
This is an ideal client card, but in reality, something can go wrong at almost every stage. The patient may not connect if:
- The site was not included in the output.
- The site will be too complicated, and he will not understand how to make an appointment.
- The doctor's work schedule is not suitable.
- The registration form does not work.
- The cost is unclear.
It is necessary for telehealth providers to strive to shorten the patient's journey as much as possible and reduce the risk of losing a client at each stage.
Optimize your website and add SEO
After the patient journey mapping, analyse how easy it is for existing patients to use your new services, and if necessary, update the site. Check each stage and ask yourself these common questions:
- What problems does the client have?
- What does the patient need to move to the next stage?
- Whether they need additional information. What else should I post on the site?
- Is it easy to navigate the site?
- Can patients make an appointment online?
- How can you help them?
To attract traffic, you must use SEO, to make your content visible for users. As a rule, marketers analyse popular key queries, optimize pages with services, add useful articles with SEO queries.
The site is what forms the first impression of the patient. Investing in the design of your landing page and homepage, as well as improving the usability and content, is therefore very worthwhile.
Make your audience want to try the functionality of your healthcare product.
Start an email marketing campaign on the existing customer base
Emailing is a powerful tool that helps to keep in touch with patients who have previously visited the clinic.
Prepare a series of emails, tell the recipients about the brand-new service and how it differs from traditional medicine. Remind them that every patient needs to undergo a medical examination every year. Mention that you have started a blog in which you publish useful information about healthcare system.
Try to keep within 1-2 letters. They will remind patients about your center and help build trust in telemedicine. You can also create personalized promotional offers.
Launch contextual advertising
Paid advertising increases the effectiveness of telemedicine services promotion and should be part of any digital marketing strategy. Your task is to encourage the user to make an appointment with a minimum PPC. A marketing instrument such as Google Ads has proven to be a reliable way to attract leads to a telemedicine option.
The content will strengthen the SEO strategy, attract additional traffic to the site and help increase your credibility. Statistics show that companies that regularly blog attract 4.5 times more customers.
Analyse the experience of competitors and patient preferences, and then come up with your own publication plan. Use different formats:
- Instructions and guides
- Practical guides, video blogs about health or videos from doctors about how convenient it is to use telemedicine
- Step-by-step instructions for those who do not know how to use the application or website
- Question-answer formats for communication with patients.
Due to the individually customized reports at Medesk, you can always understand which articles and blog materials engage paying patients.Learn more >>
Patients are more likely to be satisfied when a practice is present on social media, since they can openly communicate with a manager, get answers to questions, share reviews, and suggest improvements. Always try to answer as many comments as you can, so your clients can feel involved in the process of building the finest service ever.
Read our example of an engaging blog post about telemedicine.
Be flexible and participate in industry events
To be successful, a business needs to learn how to quickly adapt to situations and respond instantly to market changes. We recommend participating in public projects, tracking advances in scientific discoveries and changes in legislation. All this will help to improve the quality of services and attract more patients.
Let's move ahead and get high conversions!