October 21, 2020

Healthcare Providers Must Cure Fear First

By: Lisa Menck-Shock, President & CEO


Fear makes it easy to put things off

In the eighth month of a pandemic, the disruption of our daily routines has become the disruption of our annual routines. Some fear risking their health, and some are simply putting off anything they don’t deem essential—and, for many, the “nonessential” category has grown to include routine preventive healthcare. Let’s face it: A trip to the home improvement store sounds way easier than having blood drawn or discussing your diet and exercise regimen. So maybe that check-up just doesn’t seem as essential as mulching the flower beds. Popular as it may be, that mindset is causing people to ignore overall preventive healthcare, putting their long-term health at even greater risk.

Remind your patients that, while COVID-19 is highly infectious, it isn’t the only health risk out there.

Let them know how you’ve adapted during the pandemic

Your audience needs you. Remind them why. Let them know what you’re doing to take care of them—and your staff—during these crazy times. Through virtual tours and video reminders, you can show them what it’s like to come into your office and reassure them that you’re taking steps to promote health and safety. Through effective messaging, you can have open, transparent dialogue and remind your patients that your office is a safe place they can go to maintain their health—not a mysterious destination that might threaten it. Keeping your patients healthy is your job, and you know how to do it.

Remind them that avoiding COVID shouldn’t mean cutting out preventive healthcare

Just because people have made it this far through the COVID-19 gamut without getting it doesn’t mean they should stop being proactive with the rest of their health. If they’ve canceled preventive healthcare appointments or ignored ailments because of the pandemic, they could be successfully avoiding the coronavirus but putting their overall health at risk. Consider sharing stats that show preventive healthcare saves lives. Consider sharing vital care advice and procedures based on age range that are proven to reduce major health situations. You’re an important source of truth in your patients’ lives. They’ve come to you for advice on every other health issue they’ve encountered. Fighting infection is nothing new to you, and COVID-19—while serious and highly infectious—isn’t the only health risk remaining in the world. 

Meme that shows a row of filled seats in doctors’ office waiting room on the left and a row of empty chairs on the right

Communicate like a human

They need your reassurance and your nurturing reminders. Maybe you’re doing televisits during the pandemic. Open the lines of communication and let them know. You can do it in writing, but you can also do it through video. Video is convenient, has a high conversion rate and offers a personal touch. Your clients are already sitting at home watching videos and craving interaction. Meet them on social media. Social media from my doctor? Yeah. It’s a great way to empathize, to be human. Let them know you’re going through the same thing they are. Communicating with your patients using their preferred modes of communication shows that you live in the same world they do. 

Now’s not the time to put the brakes on. As a healthcare provider, you prevent and treat illness. As a person, you are a mother or father, a brother or sister, a parent or grandparent. You too struggle with children in virtual learning. You too haven’t held your grandchild’s hand in seven months. You too are avoiding risky situations to keep all those people healthy. Connect with your clients on a human level, not just as their doctor, and let them know that coming to see you isn’t risky.

It’s time to find a cure for fear, and we can help. We may not have a medical degree, but we certainly have a communications degree. A bunch of them, actually. Connect with us and we’ll help you connect with your clients.