A not so funny thing is happening during the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders across the country. People have stopped going to see their primary care doctor. And that my friends is not a good thing.
While caution is understandable, the resulting action is not.
It has never been more important to address medical issues and concerns before they become more severe problems from lack of attention and treatment. The pandemic does not mean that physicians are not practicing medicine and have shut down their practices. What it does mean is they are taking prudent precautions in scheduling patients and implementing the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Anecdotally, I am hearing that medical practices are down anywhere from 50 – 70 percent of their regular patient volumes. I can understand surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other specialty physicians hurting, but primary care should not be.
The new normal if there is such a thing.
And that, in a nutshell, is the marketing leadership opportunity that hospitals and health systems have in their communities. To return people to the doctor, their primary care doctor to address neglected health conditions and concerns that arose or were ongoing during the COVID-19 pandemic isolation.
This week is adding Primary Care marketing to the marketing mix. A back to basics strategy. Drive the patients and community back to primary care, pull the primary care doctors to the hospitals for diagnostic, outpatient, and inpatient services.
A break from the past.
Primary care marketing is not about a return to the big building, happy smiling patients, and family marketing of the past. It's not about all the medical services, high-tech equipment the hospital has. It's about the ability of the hospital to lead the community post-pandemic, address new or ongoing health conditions, and engage in quite a different level with the community and primary care physicians.
Hospital and health system marketing going forward.
It's not sexy or exciting, but it is the leadership from the hospital that the patient and community need. It is what your doctor needs. Primary care feeds the specialties and the hospital. A back to basics strategy that continues the engagement momentum you established during the pandemic.
Individuals need to begin to focus once again on their healthcare that was neglected whether it was from fear or uncertainty over these past several weeks. Show them the way back.
The hospital leading the community back to quality, affordable healthcare starts now.