Two years ago, telehealth was a fringe treatment option. The pandemic, however, changed all that. After a period of adjustment by providers and patients alike, telehealth behavioral health has now become very much a part of the landscape.
Have you implemented mental health telehealth as well as you could have? The only way to be sure is to consider the following:
1. Determine (or reassess) the goals of your telehealth mental health counseling
Exactly how can telehealth behavioral health best benefit your patients? You’ll need to know before you can ever hope to market it correctly. Many factors will influence your answer, including revenue considerations, patient satisfaction, retention and how it will affect the number of new patients you have.
2. Make sure staff members are all on the same page with telehealth behavioral health
You may be very much on board with telehealth mental health. However, it’s not a guarantee that your staff members are. There are many possible reasons for this, the most likely of which is that they haven’t been properly trained on it. In the process of training, staff members may have valuable input about how telehealth may work well or if there are any potential issues.
3. Determine who are (and aren’t) good candidates for telehealth treatment
One of the best ways to sink telehealth is to bring the wrong patients into it. Clearly, telehealth can’t work well for all patients. In fact, for some patients, telehealth would be detrimental to their successful recovery.
However, for a certain segment of your patients, it’s likely an ideal solution. For that reason, it’s a good idea to pre-screen all of your patients to determine whether or not they would be good candidates for telehealth.
4. Make sure telehealth sessions provide a positive patient experience
Are your telehealth sessions presented in the best way possible? Be sure you don’t present difficult visuals to patients. Conduct your telehealth sessions in an uncluttered room and make sure your audio is clear and free of echo effects. You don’t want any distractions during virtual sessions.
Sometimes, there will be technical glitches when dealing with telehealth. On a given day, you may get the occasional screen freeze or the audio does something odd for a few seconds. Patients under duress may react badly to these situations. That’s why it’s important to maintain your composure and keep the atmosphere light. Explain that the technical issue is temporary only (which is usually the case).
5. Fully leverage the advantages of telehealth behavioral health marketing
Mental health treatment centers have adopted telehealth at varying levels. Some are quite comfortable with it. Others see its limitations and may be hesitant to fully embrace it. Regardless of where you are on the implementation cycle, you need marketing to reach current patients and prospective patients about it.
For telehealth marketing to work, several things need to happen, such as:
- Keep your website updated on telehealth: this means telehealth has to have more of a life on your website than a quick mention you put up in the spring of 2020. You need to integrate telehealth behavioral health across all of your website content in a meaningful way.
- Reach out across your media channels to patients: Send out email updates about telehealth. In addition, discuss telehealth on your social media feed. The more information you share, the more comfortable people will get with the idea (even if they had a negative experience with it early on).
- Put up signs in your office: This may be a bit old fashioned but it works. Remember that your marketing messaging about telehealth should be consistent, whether it’s a sign in the office, a web page or a social media post.
Telehealth Behavioral Health Has an Ally in Digital Marketing
Telehealth isn’t going anywhere. It’s likely to remain a permanent aspect of mental health treatment. Therefore, telehealth mental health providers must continue to rely on effective telehealth marketing to reach their audience about this treatment option.
Partner with a digital marketing firm that understands the unique needs of mental health treatment centers. We can help you market telehealth behavioral health in innovative ways such as call tracking and dashboarding software.