How COVID-19 Changed Communication in the Healthcare Industry
As the global pandemic continues to greatly affect major cities, many industries are rapidly trying to adapt. The healthcare industry is no exception, as it forced to make revisions to its daily protocols. With those unprecedented changes, public relations professionals are also expected to modify the way they communicate on social media.
In order to comply with the mandatory stay-at-home order and respect social distancing regulations, the healthcare industry is prioritizing virtual care as a way to respond to the virus. Patients and caregivers no longer need to come in contact and can avoid the risk of infection, as appointments are now held virtually. This effort is aimed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus while still caring for patients’ wellbeing.
Since the introduction of virtual care, Telehealth has become an essential tool that continues to be in high demand. This tool allows the healthcare industry to communicate and engage with patients in an online platform through a simple video call. Patients can get prescription refills and have medication delivered to their door. COVID-19 poses a higher risk toward the elderly community, so this new tool is crucial for them to stay connected with providers.
Through this transition from in-person doctor visits to telehealth visits, it is apparent that there is a growing demand for healthcare assistance online. Virtual support such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and other platforms have become essential tools for professionals and everyday individuals alike. The healthcare industry has since taken the opportunity to use these virtual platforms to host numerous support groups and events to help individuals stay healthy and live a more positive lifestyle.
Public relations professionals are weighing in on the unexpected changes disturbing the healthcare industry due to the ongoing battle with COVID-19. As the healthcare industry continues to adapt to offering patients virtual care though telehealth and additional virtual support, public relations professionals are also adapting to this sudden change. Focusing on the fundamentals is crucial right now, as it allows them to remain true to the client’s overall branding. In this case, public relations professionals are reexamining and, in some cases, pausing major campaigns or announcements as appropriate during the global pandemic.
Social media has always been an outlet for open communication, but public relations professionals have expanded its capabilities as a way for patients to stay in the loop. The healthcare industry is striving to provide online classes for individuals to engage with and better their lifestyles. Public relations professionals are helping these healthcare providers to promote and attract new engagement on their social media channels to help improve health and prevent diseases.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has quickly changed the course on how the healthcare industry functions and how public relations professionals manage social media to create new opportunities for the industry.