As we all know, the pandemic has thrown so much of life into a tailspin!
We’re constantly reminded that in order to get our lives back, we must pivot. We’re all resetting our personal lives. We’re resetting our work lives, too, as more and more of us (and the rest of our worlds) are getting vaccinated, and are opening up. After a year of pivoting in one direction, we’re now having to pivot again – back to, or into our new normal.
As smart advocates and care managers, we must also remember this is true for our clients, too. For more than a year, our clients have chosen to forego regular and necessary medical appointments, tests, procedures, and more – too often to the detriment of their health.
Last week we posted on the AdvoConnection blog (which is written for patients and caregivers): It’s Time. And It’s Imperative. We explained to them that they need to get caught up on their medical and health-related appointments. And, of course we suggested they get in touch with YOU to help them do so!
So this week, we’ll support you in your quest to help your clients get caught up; to get what they need from the healthcare system.
How to Help Your Clients Get Caught Up (Marketing Your Healthcare Catch-up Services!)
Make a list of all your clients and their contact information, and any notes of what you know (or don’t know) about their pursuit of health or medical care since early 2020. This means ALL clients; not just the ones you have stayed in touch with.
Reach out to them by email first: include a greeting, that you hope they’ve weathered their pandemic experience as well as possible, and then provide a heads up that you plan to phone them within the next week or two to review some of the steps they should be aware of as they step back into a more public life, especially the sorts of health and medical care catching up they should be focusing on. Ask them if there is any specific time they would, or would not, want you to call.
Wait a few days to see if you hear back from them. If they give you a good time to phone, or times to avoid a call, then mark those on your calendar. Then begin making calls accordingly. Plan to make just a few calls a day so that it doesn’t become an onerous task, and so that you can jump into helping those who are ready to get back into their grooves with your help, as they identify themselves.
Here is some guidance for your conversations:
- Ask friendly questions to catch up: how they are doing, how their family members fared; just a friendly introduction.
- Ask them if they have been vaccinated.
- If so – great!
- If not, ask them if they know of any medical reason they should not be vaccinated. Let that conversation flow according to the answer. If they do have a medical reason, then you’ll want to move on from this part of the conversation. If they aren’t sure, then make the suggestion that you can help them make an appointment with the right professionals to figure that out.
- If they have not been vaccinated, and they express any sort of trouble getting an appointment, ask them if you can help them in that pursuit. (Remember – you can’t offer to drive them. But you can offer to make arrangements for a ride, if need be.) If they don’t want your help, make yourself a note in your calendar to call them again in 2-3 weeks to see what their vaccinated status is then.
- If they express their unwillingness to be vaccinated, see if you can flesh out the reason. If it’s simply a discomfort to them, you’ve got a chance to convince them otherwise, and it’s worth your while to pursue helping them and nudging them toward making a vaccination appointment.
- If they are unwilling to be vaccinated for political reasons, you might remind them that viruses aren’t political and that covid kills regardless of political opinions. Don’t go too deep into the weeds on this, but you can politely make the point to see if you can put them into a more positive frame of mind about vaccination.
- Move on to additional health related questions to see if there are ways you can get them back into their health and medical appointment groove:
- When was their last primary care visit?
- Do they know if they have missed any treatments or tests?
- Do they know if they have missed any regular imaging or procedures like mammograms or colonscopies?
- Have they been keeping up with their prescriptions?
- Are they experiencing any symptoms that seem strange or give them pause?
- Have they received any medical bills they’ve questioned, including bills related to covid – many of which are not to be paid for by patients?
The answers they give you will help you formulate a plan for getting them back on track.
If you can’t identify any gaps in their care, then simply ask them if they would like you to follow up again in 3 or 4 months, then mark your calendar accordingly.
And, of course, if you do identify gaps, it’s your opportunity to set up an assessment meeting with them to get specific, and to begin working with them again.
At the very least they will appreciate that you’ve thought about them and their needs, and that you have followed up with them.
What a great way to pivot your practice back into activity and success!
For more advice on how to recover and build your practice now that much of the pandemic is behind us, take a look at our course at PracticeUP!: Pandemic! Serve Clients, Preserve and Grow Your Practice