Part 4: Refilling the Patient Pipeline – the Key Step on the Road to Financial Recovery
Covid-19 is a Fracture event, disruptive on such an unprecedented scale it changes our worldview forever, having perhaps its greatest impact on healthcare. The negative financial impact is daunting – with so many appointments and procedures cancelled, it is imperative for healthcare systems to refill their patient pipeline. But this patient disruption must be addressed carefully by anticipating how COVID-19 has impacted brands and consumer selection criteria and experience expectations.
With no history to guide us forward, BVK recognized that solid and timely data is critical to understand the rapidly evolving nature of consumer attitudes and expectations as this crisis plays out. Therefore, we are fielding a 3-wave national survey occurring in late April, May, and June. Our study measures brand impacts and consumer expectations for re-engaging with healthcare systems. This blog is the fourth in a 5-part series exploring our findings and related topics.
COVID-19 has impacted almost every facet of our lives in one way or another. And for the scale of the physical impact it has had on our population, it has had an equal if not more complex impact on our psyche. This blog seeks to use the data we have gathered to help unravel what those changes are, and how we (as healthcare providers / brands) must adapt to them as society prepares for recovery, growth and the new normal.
In an almost oxymoronic way, COVID-19 has increased consumer’s confidence in their ability to receive safe care (post-COVID) from healthcare providers. Certainly, something positive for healthcare brands to capitalize on! However, their level of comfort in scheduling / re-scheduling an appointment now is still relatively low. Which is understandable given that for the last few months they have been told to stay home and avoid all non-vital excursions. This punctuates the importance of reassuring healthcare consumers that is safe to return for care with an emphasis on precisely how you will maintain safe treatment areas and patient flow.
As we collectively work through the COVID-19 experience, BVK’s research shows that we are progressing through in waves – our mindsets, cravings and behaviors shift as we navigate the quest for control to the quest for betterment. Fluctuating between the extremes of a “survivorship” or “resilience” mindset, to a “thrivorship” mindset.
We encourage you to read the descriptions associated with each stage of the “wave” above and think about how you have personally felt throughout COVID-19 and which stage you might find yourself in. Then recognize that markets and individuals will progress through the waves at differing cadence. To retain / convert your healthcare consumers, you will need to meet them where they are.
For consumers in the burnout stage who are feeling overwhelmed by the inability to maintain what they achieved in the adaptation phase, how can we provide them with clarity and hope?
For consumers in the empowerment phase, who are emerging with a belief in a brighter future by reflecting on their priorities and refocusing on growth, how can we remain relevant as they re-evaluate everything with their newfound optimism?
And for those who are entering into the second wave, with a new focus on betterment for themselves and society, how can we validate or contribute to their newfound purpose?
With all this in mind, here are a few key takeaways to remember:
- Markets (and individuals) will progress through the waves at different paces…and we need to communicate based upon where they are
- Aspirational values are still the key, we should not shift the Brand Narrative to a survival focus
- Safety is an important gateway that will likely be necessary well into 2021
- We need to solve for today, all the while preparing for the next wave
- Granting consumers control over their care journey and experience is no longer optional
- There has never been a more important time to stand for something enduring and aspirational
Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments. And join us for a presentation on more of our survey findings and a complete recovery plan to refill the pipeline in our Road to Recovery Webinar. Click on a date option below to register: