As of March 1, 2021, more than 50 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite that number, there’s a tremendous supply-and-demand issue in most areas — and private practices can come to the rescue.
By relying on local practices to administer the vaccine, states can successfully expand their vaccination initiative, and get doses into more arms, as rapidly as possible. In terms of patient trust, local providers are ideal healthcare professionals to administer the vaccine: a 2020 AP-NORC poll showed that 66 percent of people look to their local physician as the key source of COVID-19 information, second only to the CDC.
What does it take for a practice to promote their vaccine plans and deliver a convenient, satisfying patient experience? PatientPop has announced the COVID-19 vaccine scheduler and patient communication solution for private practices, as part of the PatientPop all-in-one platform.
In this new Q&A video, PatientPop director of product Darí Staples explains how the solution helps practices take part in this heroic, historic, healthcare initiative.
To learn more, see the expanded transcript of the entire interview below the video.
Alyssa Graetz, senior director of content and communications:
Darí, tell me a little bit about what PatientPop is introducing.
Darí Staples, director of product:
PatientPop has been working on providing our practices with the right capabilities, depending upon where they are in the vaccination process. That could include website content saying they’re participating in testing only, as well as they’ve applied as a practice to participate in the vaccine, but haven’t yet been approved. We’ve been working to get it ready for our practices depending on their state of readiness.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about the different components available within the vaccine scheduler and communication solution?
Staples: We have created a couple of different avenues for our practices. We’ve got email templates that can either communicate that they’ve applied and haven’t yet been accepted — just an FYI that the vaccine is coming soon to a practice near you. We also have email templates to say, “It’s here, take a look at our booking tool and schedule an appointment because the vaccine has arrived.” The great thing about email templates is you can send the template to a segmented population, or you can send it to your entire population depending on how you want to slice and dice your patient population there.
Then, we’ve got a variety of different website content pages to suit whatever needs you have as a practice. For instance, a big one is FAQs on the COVID-19 vaccine, how it works, how many doses are required.
The great thing about that particular web page is we can tailor it to the type of vaccine a practice is using, whether it’s Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, or Pfizer. It’s very specific in detail, which search engines love.
We also have website content pages that say, “Hey, we’re doing testing. As far as antibody testing, this is how this works.” Specific to whatever the needs are for that practice, we can tailor make those content pages.
We also offer the capability, through a promo or a banner, to say, “Hey, I’m offering the vaccine. If you have questions about it, go to this link.” Then, we’ve also got an opportunity to revise and update your title tag for your website. That’s critical again for your search engine optimization so that when patients are searching and actively seeking a place to get the vaccine, your practice will come up. Those are some of the areas we focused on for different package offerings.
Q: Tell me about the scheduler component of the solution.
Staples: As we all know, a key component with these vaccinations — especially as it relates to Pfizer and Moderna — is that one, patients get the same type of vaccine and, two, they get two doses. With our scheduling feature, you’ll be able to allow your patient population to hit your website, schedule an appointment, and have them go through the booking process. Then, at the end, they’ll fill out a pre-screening vaccination form, which allows you to have all the details and information you need as a practice before the patient arrives.
Q: Why are these resources so important for practices?
Staples: They’re important because they help create awareness that the vaccine is available and is being administered by the patient’s local practice. It’s paramount for practices to be able to administer these because, as we’ve seen a lot in the news lately, the demand has far exceeded the supply. So, as more pharmaceutical companies are on board with the vaccine, it will be paramount to be able to distribute those vaccines to those underserved areas.
Q: How can this solution help a private practice stand out among competitors?
Staples: Offering the vaccine is going to be key for standing out. The reason is we’ve seen an increase over the past three months where people are now searching, not just about COVID symptoms, but more about “where do I obtain the COVID vaccine?” So, in order to ensure that your practice stands out, the content page, the SEO title tag… these are going to be critical in those mass searches that are happening every day online to ensure that your practice comes up to the top above the fold, so to speak, in the search engine results.
Q: How has PatientPop supported private practices in other ways through this time?
Staples: Through the pandemic, PatientPop has distributed through our customer base the ability to perform telehealth visits, which has been key for the vast majority of our patients recently — especially those in the more critical areas of the pandemic, the 70-year-old, or those that had comorbidities. The telehealth offering has been paramount for our practices.
The COVID vaccine solution is just another way that we are offering our practices and providers the ability to effectively communicate to their patient population, in their quest to retain their existing patients, as well as obtain those new patients.