As the trusted healthcare partner for more than 160 employers nationwide, when COVID hit, we needed to quickly adapt to meet these circumstances without disrupting the level of care our patients expect. We also needed to ensure that our customers were armed with relevant and up-to-date guidance to make informed decisions. Our goal has always been to guide patients and customers with empathy, science, and data.
Similar to how we are making sure it’s important that our customers understand the processes and the things we’re doing in our centers to make our patients safe, we are also communicating that to our patients. Since March, both Marathon Health and OurHealth have been sending out emails and other related communications to patients surrounding COVID-19. These topics include how to stay safe, how to wear a mask properly, the difference between COVID-19 and allergies, how to manage stress, and healthy eating at home.
We’ve recently kicked off an Instagram campaign supporting the importance of mask wearing – we’ll be posting throughout the next several weeks to encourage our patients to share a selfie of themselves wearing a mask so that we can begin to normalize this behavior.Having access to high-quality healthcare in a safe environment during COVID-19 was a huge asset for our patients. We wanted them to remember us when a need arose instead of heading to an ER or urgent care where risk of exposure was greater. We created a multi-channel communication strategy to stay top-of-mind and educate them on the new ways to engage with us, including virtual visits and after-hours care.
In upcoming communications, we will be focused on three main topics:
Safe place to get care
We want people to understand that their health center is a safe place to get care. We’re screening our providers daily, and we’re scheduling people appropriately to reduce wait times and avoid overlap of patients. We are also emphasizing physical distancing and regular cleaning practices in between appointments.
Flu shots are important
The second topic that is quickly approaching and will continue through 2021, is how important flu shots are going to be this year. In addition to the normal reasons why you should get a flu shot, if someone isn’t feeling well over the next couple months, it could give us the possibility to rule out the flu if they’ve had their flu shot. We’ll also compare the symptoms of flu and COVID-19. We anticipate many questions about flu and COVID symptoms as we go into the flu season.
Don’t delay your healthcare
Cancer is not slowing down because of COVID-19 and diabetes does not go away because of COVID-19. We want people to understand that we are still here and available for a variety of appointment types, whether in-person or virtually. There are options for everyone and we want to remind patients of the services that are available to them. It’s important to prevent something small from turning into something larger because care was delayed.
We strive to provide patients with the safe, high-quality, and thoughtful care at all times and at all of our health centers. You can find more information on how we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and the considerations we put into practice for our patients in our Pandemic Response eBook.