Watch our Campfire Session on Telemedicine: The New Healthcare Normal? Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

Now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. Our Hailey Sault Campfire Sessions are weekly conversations among colleagues about the issues and opportunities facing health care organizations and marketing leaders. 

On 4/10/20, Mike, Ann and Stephen from Hailey Sault were joined by Katie Johnson, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Lake Region Healthcare, and Chris Boyer, senior-level digital strategist and founder and show host of touch point media, to discuss the surge of telemedicine in health care during COVID-19.

We discussed:

  • Insights for launching or expanding telemedicine services
  • Use cases for telemedicine, including triage and continuity of services and care
  • Consumer expectations and adoption rates post-COVID-19

10 key takeaways:

1. Telemedicine is being used by providers like Lake Region Healthcare to capture back lost patient volume after physical clinic locations closed due to COVID-19 and patients discontinued use of routine medical visits.

2. People still need health care during COVID-19. Telemedicine provides a link to safe care. Katie Johnson pointed out that some people who need care are not seeking care due to COVID-19, therefore becoming sicker. Telemedicine offers an opportunity to help people be well while observing stay-at-home and social distancing measures. 

3. Digital health solutions like telemedicine have been in place among many health systems for years. But telemedicine is now in the forefront. 

4. Changes in reimbursement at the federal level have increased the ability for providers to offer increased telemedicine services. 

5. National telemedicine providers are now actively marketing their services.

6. In addition to national providers, many alternative medical providers, such as chiropractors, have amplified their telemedicine offerings. 

7. These non-traditional competitors may have immediate and long-term negative impacts on providers. 

8. It’s important to communicate that telemedicine is simply another tool and resource for patients to access care. This helps reduce the friction among some consumers adopting telemedicine as a way to receive care. 

9. Many consumers wonder if the quality of care is as good as a traditional in-person visit. Also, many consumers may resist seeing an unfamiliar care provider. Both concerns are opportunities to address. 

10. If it’s not already, telemedicine should be part of the care journey models you develop for your audiences. 

During the campfire session, Katie and Ann shared recent advertising efforts to encourage Lake Region patients and community members to use its new virtual health services. 

Virtual visits ad examples

Early results indicate that consumers are embracing virtual care—which is new for Lake Region and the community in general. 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR TELEMEDICINE?

We obviously don’t know what the future will bring. But the question raises other questions, like:

  • Will we go back to “normal” after COVID-19? Or will telemedicine become a new normal for patients seeking care? 
  • Will telemedicine become the next battleground for winning new patients and brand loyalty? Providing telemedicine services has become table stakes for health care providers. How will providers elevate how telemedicine is delivered to improve patient satisfaction and loyalty? 
  • Now that physicians are using telemedicine in higher percentages, will they be the next champions for telemedicine? 

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