Communicating during a health scare falls under many boxes of responsibility including marketing. Here are some tips and resources to help with your patient communication regarding Covid19:
1. Make sure your staff knows how to answer questions. We are a hands on, face cradling nation of chiropractors. Understandably that will cause some concern with patients who will likely call to reschedule or cancel appointments. What are you doing to maintain the spread of virus in your office to protect your patients? Educate your staff on how to answer these questions to help patients feel more confident when going face down on your table! Finally, make sure your staff does not report to work with any symptoms!
2. Share on social media, through emails and on your website how you're cleaning your office including the cleaners that you are using. Illustrate cleaning of office door handles, including the front door, arms of the chairs, treatment equipment, light switches and bathrooms. Provide santizing hand gel in your waiting roomand front desk Be a leader in disinfecting!
3. Share on social media, emails and your website proper hand washing techniques. If you sell products and it's part of your practice share immune boosting supplements, botanical and herbs that are supported by the literature.
4. Consider spacing patient appointments further apart so that you limit the number of patients in your waiting and therapy rooms and have time to disinfect between patients. Let patients know you're taking this approach! They'll appreciate the effort. Another great option is to offer patients the ability to text you or call when they arrive, allowing them to wait in their car. Your office staff can then let them know when to come in.
5. Leverage slower office times by offering them to patients who are at higher risk so that they are not exposed to other patients. Imagine an older person who feels like the office is open just for them!
6. Communicate with your patients asking them to consider rescheduling non essential appointments if they are experiencing any signs of illness.
7. Do not make statements or claims that are not supported by evidence based literature! This can lead to heavy fines and I think it is reasonable to expect that agencies will crack down on fear mongering and misleading claims during a pandemic health scare. I was told yesterday that someone saw a chiropractor claiming that spinal adjustments could boost the immune system by 200%. This simply is not supported by the literature.
8. Keep your office clean! Now is not the time to have overflowing garbage cans, old and dingy magazines and dusty shelves. Maintain a clear committment to cleanliness not only during a health scare but at all times.
9. Update your website and leverage social media to communicate with your patients on any changes in hours or closures, especially in geographic areas with current closures. Create a page or box on your website on Covid19, the early symptoms and your measures to keep patients safe while visiting your office.
Your State Association!
OSHA and Covid19: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html#health
EPA's Approved Disinfectants: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf
CDC Information for Healthcare Providers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/index.html
World Federation of Chiropractic Covid19 Information: https://www.wfc.org/website/images/wfc/Latest_News_and_Features/Coronavirus_information_2020_03_12.pdf