3 min read
The coronavirus health crisis continues to evolve as the months march on. States are reopening and closing in different ways, and official messaging has been inconsistent at the national level. The mixed messages swirling around can be confusing for the general public, ultimately making it difficult for them to accurately assess the risks of their decisions. Ideally, community outreach about how to safely go out in public should be straight forward and not exacerbate any existing confusion. As a healthcare provider, you can help with this effort by sharing accurate, up-to-date information about the current coronavirus risks in your area and guidelines about how to stay safe. You have the opportunity to become one of your community’s premier voices in public health. Hospitals and health systems can share with their patients and broader community the importance of precautions in public settings, good hygiene, and proper workplace practices.
Position yourself as a leader
Americans trusted physicians and hospitals above any other source of information in the height of this pandemic. In fact, according to a January 2019 Pew Research Center survey, 74% of Americans said they had a mostly positive view of medical doctors. Healthcare providers therefore are poised to empower their communities by sharing accurate information to help them make informed decisions. If you talk, your patients will listen. Not only will this help your patients stay safe and healthy, but you will gain their respect by offering them useful guidance. It will also keep you top of mind the next time someone needs a procedure.
Share up-to-date, official advice
In order to communicate about the current COVID-19 situation in your area, you do not need to be a virologist or expert in public health. You can simply share current official health guidelines and clarify any misunderstandings about coronavirus. Coming from the voice of someone they respect, your patients will be more likely to take the guidelines seriously. Some information that you might consider sharing are current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations about wearing cloth face masks, or the World Health Organization's (WHO) tips on how to use and dispose of a mask properly.
You can also debunk any currently circulating myths about the virus, or resources to determine the likelihood that someone will have COVID-19 in your area, such as this tracking website which indicates the likelihood that someone will have COVID-19 at an event based on event size and location. Also, remind people to continue practicing preventive measures, such as good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Share human and emotional stories
Every day there are more stories of COVID-19 wreaking havoc on families and communities, such as 18 family members testing positive after a birthday party, or 28 people in another family. There is also the tale of 17 high school students testing positive after a trip to Myrtle Beach, and 85 bar goers getting infected in Michigan. These are just a few recent examples of cautionary tales you can share. Telling emotional, human stories can be an effective way to get people to listen and take our current health crisis seriously. Real-life examples of peoples’ experiences are often more impactful than simply communicating statistics, especially when the public has been inundated with facts and figures for months. People are more likely to change their lifestyles when they see someone they identify with grappling with the same issues.
The best way to spread your message
As a healthcare practitioner, you are in a position of authority to help people sift through the noise and understand what is going on in their community and beyond. Sharing information about the current state of affairs in your area will not only help keep them safe and informed, but it will set you up as a leader in your field and dispenser of accurate, expert advice and guidance. But how best to communicate with the public? One way is through a robust HIPAA compliant social media strategy. Although you must steer clear of sharing anything that could be remotely considered protected health information (PHI) on social media, you can still educate the public about popular or timely health topics, such as COVID-19. Another way to spread your message is by using a HIPAA compliant email marketing solution, such as Paubox Marketing. Our product allows you to communicate with patients en masse about the evolving coronavirus landscape, changes to your practice, and the most up-to-date healthcare guidelines.
SEE ALSO: Healthcare Email Marketing Use Cases
Your marketing emails are delivered directly to your recipients’ email boxes—no password or portal required. Paubox Marketing makes it possible for you to share the correct information about how we can all protect ourselves and others during this challenging time.
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