Marketing that Supports Rebuilding Therapy Caseloads
We’ve been hit with the knowledge that many things, like caseloads, thought to be under our control were completely disrupted in the wake of a worldwide pandemic. So, what can we do to strengthen our departments?
Ask consistently and often for patient testimonials
What’s good for your facility is good for you—and that’s public, positive testimonials about your care. Ask patients at discharge to write an online review, specifically on Google. Reputation management can have cumulative benefits for search engine optimization and getting new patients in the door. Maintaining fresh ratings and at least a 4.0-star average improves the chances of being included in the top three “map pack” on Google, which are the results most prospective patients will stay within to find therapy options in their area.
You can also:
- Ask your facility webmaster to include patient testimonials on the therapy page (ones that adhere to HIPAA or that you have express patient consent to publish as is)
- Ask for reviews on Facebook
- Provide testimonial cards at discharge for patients who aren’t comfortable navigating to your facility Google My Business listing or who aren’t on Facebook
- Review your testimonials for those that your in-house marketing team could expand for a written piece featuring the rehab department
- Include testimonials on printed materials for physician and patient marketing
There is a timely benefit right now in having recent “social proof” that patients are comfortable coming to rehab departments for their therapy again—or, maybe they’ll review your convenient telehealth services.
Promote your telehealth capabilities
The past few months have shown that telehealth is a viable option for many services. It is often a more convenient option, and maybe even a safer option, for some of our patients. Don’t back off of it as caseloads return to normal. Telehealth should be a continued part of marketing efforts to capture those patients who could benefit from virtual care.
Is telehealth mentioned on the therapy page of your website? Do former patients and patients who have yet to restart their plan of care know you offer virtual visits? Have you reminded them lately since initial announcements in March?
If you’ve found telehealth is working especially well for specific groups, like pediatrics, ask your facility marketing department (we can help, too) for assistance getting the message out to parents using marketing mediums such as social posts, digital ads, email marketing and newspaper ads.
Get comfortable with direct access (and safety talk)
Part of your direct access marketing going forward will have to contain a safety component in addition to talking about ease of access to therapy services and the health benefits. Some people will not be comfortable returning to rehab until there is a COVID-19 vaccine. Some may be delaying care with other providers and are not receiving referrals to see you. They will need reassurance and continued reminders of your safety measures.
Provide your local news stations with monthly story pitches, updates about your rehab department, team and services, and reminders about your safety measures. Promote therapy as the essential service that it is, and let prospective patients know they can directly request a therapy consult or restart their care at any time. For physical therapists, the APTA just began promoting their latest campaign around physical activity geared toward consumers. Through that, there will be many opportunities to share information directly to prospective patients and include calls to action for appointments.
We are here as a marketing resource for our partners and rehab teams as our communities continue to adapt to the current health climate.