While many patients have returned with an end of COVID-19 harsh restrictions, some remain apprehensive
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, most people assumed it would be over in a few weeks…then a few months. In those early days, health care providers weren’t completely sure how to handle it. And patients often panicked. Now patient behavior has changed, and while doctors and patients alike are looking forward to an end of COVID-19, it remains to be seen whether patient behavior will return to “normal.”
With the arrival of vaccinations, the wearing of masks, and social distancing, patients have returned or begun a return to in-person care.
“For most patients, there was a lot of hesitation coming into the office as the pandemic originally started,” says Seth Means, DC, MSc, and co-founder of Okanagan Integrative Health in West Kelowna, British Columbia. “However, that hesitation has gradually subsided for the majority of patients to where it is no longer an issue.”
As restrictions fell, Means says that he began seeing more patients come back to the office. But their chiropractic issues were changing.
“With more people working from home, we started to see increased postural syndromes from more time spent at makeshift home offices and less time spent exercising and being active. As restrictions kept many from going to the gym or playing sports, we are now to seeing increased frequency of sports injuries as people return to working out and recreational sports after long periods of inactivity,” Means explains.
If chiropractors are seeing similar trends and changes in the conditions that your patients are now having, Means suggest that you market to them.
For example, Means says “If you’ve noticed increased postural syndromes in your practice, highlight it by putting out social media content, your blog, or devote a section of your newsletter to posture syndromes. If your patient base is experiencing a trend, there are likely other prospective patients in need of the same treatments,” he says.
While many patients returned with an end of COVID-19 harsh restrictions, Means says that some were still apprehensive.
“There have been a certain percentage of people who are hesitant to come into the office. If you have proper COVID protocols in place for your specific region, however, those people are much more comfortable once they see the proper safety measures in place,” he says. “If you want to show people what COVID protocols you have in the office, Google My Business has made it easy to show people what measures your clinic is taking. When people look at your business on Google or Google Maps, you can change your settings to inform them if the staff is wearing masks, getting temperature checks, and if masks are required for patients.”
Likewise, Means says that you can inform your patients or prospective patients of your office’s COVID protocols through your newsletter, blog, social media, or any other marketing that you do to help put their minds at ease while we approach an end to COVID-19, or at least keeping the virus under control.
“COVID may have led to some interesting obstacles in practice over the last year and a half. However, at the end of the day, people need our services just as much if not more than ever due to increased sedentary lifestyles during the pandemic and returning to activities that their body may not be ready for. If you care about your patients and provide quality treatments, they will continue to seek out your chiropractic services,” he says.