Using National Immunization Month to Promote Preventive Services

August is around the corner, which means its National Immunization Awareness Month again. But this year, it is a very different world. We're in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, and consequently, the healthcare industry and patient behavior have changed drastically. Many family practices face financial challenges, as fewer patients are (understandably) scheduling and utilizing medical services.

People are also increasingly choosing newer retail clinics in drug stores, pharmacies, and large chain stores, for preventive medical care. And essentially, these types of clinics are in direct competition with traditional family practices.


Because of these reasons, it's become essential that a practice finds ways to expand and publicize its preventive medical service offerings to attract more clients. And you can leverage National Immunization Month to do this.

Asides from immunizations, annual check-ups, and sports physicals for soon-to-be-back-to-school students are all preventive services you should offer. They fit into the spirit of the month's observance too.

Here are some concrete steps you can take to promote your practice's preventive services during National Immunization Month:

 

Educate an online audience 


Your practice's website blog is one of the best places to provide your audience with in-depth education on the importance of immunizations and preventive health care. Since it's National Immunization Month, most likely people will be searching "immunization" and other related keywords online. Additionally, with the pandemic, many people are home and spend more time on the internet than usual.

They are, therefore, more likely to come across and read the posts. It's a month-long observance, so there's the opportunity to publish many. A once or twice a week informative blog post on vaccines, immunizations, annuals, and physical check-ups will help improve your practice's website search engine visibility and push traffic to it. Finally, you should send the published blog posts to your existing patient base through your newsletter.
 

Utilize patient engagement technology


It's one thing for you to offer preventive service at your practice, but it's another thing for your patients (and their family and friends) to be keenly aware of it. Patient engagement technology, like what Kareo offers separately or part of a fully integrated platform, can easily help you get that information across and spur them to take action. With the right technology tools, you can send out secure messages, broadcasts, and other forms of patient communications to your patients. You can also use these communications to tell interested patients about online scheduling options, screening protocols and much more.


Provide special offers and discounts


This is a great way to ramp up patient interest and commitment to using your practice's immunization and preventive services. For instance, you can offer all new patients a free annual check-up if they come in for their annual flu shot. Remember to include all the details of any specials or discounts in your parent communications, newsletter blog posts, and social media posts.



Focus on re-care reminders


These are difficult times for patients too. Naturally, some things will slip through the cracks, and yearly immunizations or check-ups could easily be among them. National immunization month is a great time to send out scheduled re-care reminders to patients who have already used your practice's preventive medical services in the past. Additional tip Leveraging National Immunization Month to promote your practice's preventive services is a step in the right direction. However, even with states lifting lock-down orders and many businesses (including practices) reopening, patients still have valid fears. It's up to your practice to make patients feel super comfortable about coming in for their immunizations, physicals, and check-ups.

 

Consider taking this extra step to increase patient volume: Run patients through the COVID-19 sensitive screening process that you run at your practice. Communicate specifics like where precisely the screening will take place, forms they may need to fill out, and conduct that will be expected of them. You can do this 24-48 hours before they are scheduled to come in for their appointment. This assures incoming patients that their safety is prioritized and makes certain that the screening process goes as smoothly as possible.

Leveraging national observances is just one of the many ways your practice can promote its services and get more patients in the door. For more information on how to optimize your practice and boost patient engagement, visit us at Kareo.com. While there, check out our other resources to boost patient volume.

About the Author

Tolu Ajiboye is a freelance health writer and lawyer. She helps healthcare brands and companies communicate effectively with their target audience, with case studies...

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