How can fertility clinics support patients during the covid-19 pandemic?
Feelings of emotional distress, depression and even suicidal thoughts are well known in patients who undergo fertility treatment. These are usually triggered by the uncertain reproductive future and the loss of control over what is happening to them and the outcome of treatments.
When we add a pandemic on top of these feelings, and fertility treatment is postponed, all these feelings are worsened. Patients are no longer just feeling the uncertainty around their reproductive future, but also the uncertainty around their overall health, their financial security, their family and friends wellbeing and what might happen globally. This is why supporting patients during this pandemic is so important.
How do patients want to feel?
During this pandemic, your role as clinicians is to help patients feel:
Patients want to feel informed about what is happening, the regulations and restrictions. Patients want to feel supported in a time when their emotional distress is at its highest. When they are afraid and anxious. Patients want to feel hopeful that they can do something about their fertility health during the lockdown and that eventually they will be able to become parents.
30 Day Patient Support Strategy for Fertility Clinics
However, for fertility clinics, this is also a challenging time.
You may be struggling to keep your private practice afloat, be worried about cashflow and trying to keep your staff motivated. This is why I developed a 30 day patient support strategy for you to apply easily, with little effort. This is a free resource I developed for Merck, and launched on a webinar with over 500 clinicians worldwide. You can still watch the webinar on demand here.
Patient loyalty to doctors is often contingent on patients feeling that their doctors care about them as people, not just as patients.
During a crisis, patients want to continue hearing from clinics and the way you communicate and support them will determine their choice of clinic when restrictions are lifted and treatment is possible. And remember that most patients are spending over 3 hours on social media at the moment! So you want to be available, online, providing information and support.
This 30 day patient support strategy is based on my work with fertility clinics, and my research into patient engagement and support. It can help you grow your audience, let them get to know you and make an informed choice about who they want by their side during treatment.
You can also schedule a business meeting with Andreia Trigo here.