As of March 16 (2020), the CDC has advised all medical professionals in the dental and eye care industries to postpone visits from patients until further notice.
While they are prevented from seeing patients, dental and optometry professionals can turn their attention to non-clinical and business matters.
Here are six things people in the non-essential health care fields can do to help their practices, and communities, during the pandemic.
Do Some Volunteering
Help others in need by volunteering at your local food shelf.
Or, perhaps your medical experience could benefit peers in other clinical settings. Your background and expertise could be invaluable in a health care system working above capacity.
Now is the time to give back in any way that you can.
Build Your Social Media Platforms
Your busy schedule up to now may have left insufficient time for marketing and social media.
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter all have potential for marketing medical practices. Start by writing and making content that makes sense for you. Get creative with it. Explore free graphic platforms like Canva where you can make a stock photo look like your own creation.
Even updating your headshot for your LinkedIn profile is a good way to make things fresh.
How’s Your Website Doing?
When is the last time you looked at your practice’s website?
Do you need a fresh blog to link from social media? Are your staff profiles up to date? Are there new services you should promote on your website? Are there opportunities for patient education about new tools for diagnosis and treatment?
Writing about COVID-19 and how your practice and other professionals will handle it is a great way to stay connected with your patients. It also shows that you care about them and understand what they’re going through during difficult times.
Use Video To Your Benefit
If there’s a way to implement telehealth to your business strategy, now is the time.
Many business professionals are using Zoom video conferencing to stay connected. Zoom provides easy video conferencing and messaging across desktop and mobile. It’s also free to use up to 40 minutes.
However, two platforms to investigate that are HIPPA compliant and secure for your patients are EyecareLive and Doxy.me.
Using telemedicine to practice social distancing is a long-term solution for many practices. An added benefit is patient convenience as patients get used to working online with their health care providers. Be sure to check reimbursement policies of insurance providers, who are starting to recognize telehealth encounters the same way they now reimburse office visits.
Retool Your Business Plan
Even if you’ve been in practice for decades, it pays to evaluate your business plan and allow flexibility for an uncertain future. Now is the perfect time to consider your challenges, value proposition and business strategy, given the unprecedented disruption in our economy.
Work with your employees to share and align your strategic vision. Consider how the epidemic will change your practice in the future. What measures can you take now to ensure the success of your practice when patients return?
How Stearns Bank Can Help
Like all small businesses, these are challenging times for medical practices. Take care of your personal health and practice social distancing as much as possible.
Stearns Bank is open for business and available to serve your funding needs, keep your accounts accessible or simply be a listening ear as you navigate these challenging times. Our dedicated customer care teams are ready to assist with personal service.