This content is reprinted from a Hospice News digital magazine article written by Jim Parker and published on May 15, 2020. Read the full article here.
Hospices are using virtual communication to support the health of their businesses as well as the health of their patients during the ongoing pandemic. In a time of social distancing and sheltering-in-place, providers have had to up their games when it comes to digital marketing.
Traditional hospice marketing has largely relied on methods such as face-to-face sales calls with referral partners, including nursing homes, hospitals and physicians’ offices. During the COVID-19 outbreak, nursing homes and hospitals nationwide have severely restricted access to their facilities, often disrupting hospices’ marketing efforts. Hospice clinicians have even had difficulty accessing patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Staying on our referral partners’ radar, marketing liaisons for hospice agencies are in that community. We are face-to-face. We are feet on the street. We live in our cars. We were in agencies; we’re in assisted living facilities,” said Kelly Anderson, administrator for Louisiana-based Canon Hospice Northshore in a Net Health webinar. “We’re going to hospitals, seeing our case managers, visiting our physicians, doing lunches. We can’t do this face to face anymore; we have to do this from a distance. I think you really have to think outside of the box.”
Many hospices are turning to social media to promote their brands.
Social media offers marketing opportunities that few businesses can afford to underestimate or ignore, particularly as the tech savvy millennial generation are increasingly engaged in purchasing, health care and end-of-life care decisions. The average person spends more than six hours hours online every day, according to a report released in January.
Using the internet and social media offer hospice organizations a way to: centralize communications, discover more cost effective ways to drive revenue, build a company knowledge base, collaborate more effectively, leverage staff and customers in new ways, drive traffic and increase leads and enhance recruiting efforts, a 2007 study indicated.