|Image by Sebastian Thone from Pixabay|
Over the past several months, I have written in Healthcare Marketing Matters about the hospital response to the pandemic requiring the patient, community, and marketing engagement. Critical themes in these troubled times focused on leadership, accountability, engagement, and becoming credible sources of information via marketing and public relations.
|Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay|
Some blog posts addressed that since your community was no longer a hot spot and hospital admissions declined, the hospital could not fully return to business as usual with the pre-pandemic marketing messaging. It was incumbent on the hospital to maintain the momentum and reinforce its leadership and credible source of information standing by leading the community to bolster efforts to slow down community spread. Especially important considering the coming flu season.
Some hospitals continued their SARS-CoV-2 leadership of the community once the first wave passed. Still, interest was increasingly lost with hospitals and health systems returning for the most part to pre-pandemic marketing and communication activities with various reactions in visitors and other prevention measures. Messaging returned to pre-pandemic efforts despite knowing there would be a second wave combined with the flu season.
Here we are today, back at ground zero, with the pandemic is racing out of control and more acute than the first wave. On Sunday, October 25, the Trump team announced its surrender to the pandemic on CNN's Jake Tapper "State of the Union" broadcast for focus on vaccines, therapeutics, and other measures to treat the virus, not slow community spread. It has been reported in The Hill with the headline that "Utah hospitals are discussing plans to ration ICU care with the governor as coronavirus cases surge in the state," and "Nursing homes prepare for third COVID-19 surge."
Forty-three states are listed today with surging coronavirus cases and hospital ICUs filling fast. Restrictions, curfews, social distancing, and mask mandates are becoming the norm once again. The US recently set a new daily high of over 75,000 cases eclipsing the first wave daily highs, and the death toll continues to climb, with over 230,000 dead during the pandemic to date.
Hospitals are now back to square one.
|Image by Wokandpix from Pixabay|
Hospitals and health systems need to immediately revert to the leadership, pandemic marketing, and communications from the first wave to lead their community through the next wave, which some predict will be the darkest winter in US history.
Much of what I wrote then in Healthcare Marketing Matters, about messaging, engagement, public relations, marketing, and community leadership, is still very much in play today. What I have done is to place all of the SARS-CoV-2 topics in this blog post with backlinks to the post. No need to reinvent the wheel.
But the need is acute for hospitals to reclaim and reengage patients and community, leading them as the credible source of information in slowing down the community spread through this next wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
March 8 – "Coronavirus, Your Hospital, and Crisis Communications- Key Principles to Use" http://bit.ly/3aBZXTO
March 29 – "Healthcare Marketing in a Public Health Crisis, Be the Leader" https://bit.ly/3avPCt4
April 5 - "Leveraging Free Social Media Platforms During the COVID-19 Crisis for Communication" https://bit.ly/2wUMQ1Z
April 19 – "What is Your COVID-19 Pandemic Marketing Plan?" https://bit.ly/2XNOwoI
May 19 – "News Flash: SARS-CoV-2 has Changed Everything. Hospital Marketing Needs to Change Too" https://bit.ly/2WKBI1r
May 25 – "With the "New Normal" Courtesy of SARS-CoV2, What is Your Continuous Engagement Strategy?" https://bit.ly/3cWZw89
June 8 – "Where Are All The Patients? And How Do You Get Them Back?" https://bit.ly/3feV2L1
June 15 – "Lessons From The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, Are You Ready For A Chief Engagement Officer?" https://bit.ly/2AvJLqW
June 22 – "How Are You Reengaging Patients Post COVID-19?" https://bit.ly/2NiVUlx
June 29 - "Hey Siri, Alexa, I Think I May Be Coronavirus Sick. Who Should I Call?" https://bit.ly/3g7JDwF
July 6 – "Because Of COVID-19, Continuous Ongoing Patient Engagement Is The New Reality" https://bit.ly/2AwRLaW
July 13 – "Hospital Community Leadership For Ongoing SARS-CoV-2 Information. The Time Is Now" https://bit.ly/302LhJG
July 21 – "What Is the Ongoing Role of the Hospital in a Public Health Crisis?" https://bit.ly/2E5BHP0
July 28 – "Hospital Grassroots Marketing - Seven Ideas to Lead the Community Out Of The Pandemic" https://bit.ly/2P63kK1
September 8 – "Hope is Not a Strategy; Leading Patients, Community Through the Flu Season, COVID-19 Reemergence is" https://bit.ly/35uI4an
October 13 - "The Importance of Communicating the Value of the Hospital During a Pandemic- Not Features" https://bit.ly/3732FTM
October 21 – "Building the Hospital 2021 Marketing Budget & Plan – Ten Key Strategies" https://bit.ly/34fAejR
Many of these posts were written during the "first wave" of the pandemic. Recently, I have seen reports calling the "third wave" of the pandemic. What happened to the "second wave" was my question.
In a disturbing development, President Trump signed an Executive Order giving him the ability to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci and other leaders of the CDC at a critical time when their experience, expertise, and calmness are sorely needed.
You're on your own now. Take charge and lead.