patient and physician in telehealth appointment

These Post-Pandemic Healthcare Trends Are Coming Your Way: Is Your Hospital’s Website Ready?

Crowded bars, maskless shopping, businesses operating at 100% capacity — in many parts of the country, it feels like we’re no longer in the middle of a global pandemic.

As life in the US is starting to get back to normal, one of the questions we’ve been asking is, “Are changes we made during the pandemic going to be permanent?”

It does look like there will continue to be opportunities for many employees to work from home. And if dreams come true, curbside pickup will be here to stay, too.

When it comes to healthcare, it looks like COVID-19 will change certain aspects of the industry for good.

Here are some of the predicted post-pandemic healthcare trends — and what that means for your healthcare organization’s website.

Trend #1: Promoting Telehealth Offerings

Telehealth usage skyrocketed during the pandemic. And even though usage has declined since in-person visits resumed, the vast majority (88%) of Americans want to continue telehealth after the pandemic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has even expanded telehealth coverage, so it doesn’t look like telehealth is going away any time soon.

Patients of all ages use telehealth, but the ones who are most likely to keep using it are millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Zers (those born between 1995 and 2012). About 33% of millennials and 41% of Gen Zers prefer virtual visits to in-person ones — compared to just 9% of baby boomers.

What This Means For Your Website

Boost your marketing of telehealth services and focus on how to reach the audience who wants those services. Remember that when you’re marketing to this age group, you’re more likely to get results if you keep content short and sweet. Gen Zers also are known to think pragmatically and to be very busy, so drive home how practical telehealth is for them with their packed schedules.

Trend #2: Rethinking Usage Of Healthcare Services

Wasted services, like unneeded scans or unnecessarily aggressive treatments, can harm patients and are expensive. It’s estimated that overuse contributes between $75.7 billion to $101.2 billion to wasted healthcare spending in the US every year.

During COVID-19, more than 40% of US adults chose to forgo some or all of their healthcare appointments or tests, including emergencies. For some patients, this meant not receiving life-saving care. But for others, it didn’t make a difference — or even benefited them.

The amount of delayed or missed care gave medical researchers data they have never had before as well as insights that could prevent unnecessary or overly aggressive treatments, and excessive costs.

What This Means For Your Website

The trick is to draw people in ethically. Amp up marketing of essential services that people often skip, like routine physicals or vaccinations. Advertise smoking cessation programs or free mammograms that will get potential patients in the door. Make sure that you focus just as much on what’s going to most benefit your patients’ health as you do on your profits.

Trend #3: Fighting Misinformation

The internet opens the door for misinformation — and that door was blown off its hinges during the pandemic. As people spent more time online or watching TV during quarantine, they had increased access to false or misleading information.

Some of this misinformation had devastating consequences.

For example, in the 8 days following the start of the rumor that injecting oneself with disinfectant would help them fight COVID-19, reports of accidental poisonings with household disinfectants in the US increased 121% compared to the same period the year before.

What This Means For Your Website

Throughout the pandemic, healthcare providers became increasingly active in combating misinformation — often on social media. Many attained influencer and brand-like status on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Providers who have achieved that status have major followings and a megaphone to fight misinformation about other medical topics, even when the pandemic is over.

Having a following isn’t surprising. A Pew Research Center research study found that 74% of US adults trust that their physicians care about patients’ interests all or most of the time.

Use this to your advantage. Choose a few providers to be voices of your hospital, on both social media and on the website. These providers will be seen as trusted members of your community and can help fight the spread of misinformation — throughout the rest of the pandemic and beyond.

Trend #4: Focusing On Diversity And Inclusion

Not only was 2020 the year of COVID-19, but it was also marked by racial reckonings and cries for change in the US.

divided medical cross icon

The racial divide in healthcare isn’t going to change overnight. But committing your organization to improving, and truly following through, is a start. And your communication efforts should reflect that commitment.

As healthcare professionals know, COVID-19 and race are deeply intertwined, with Americans from racial and ethnic minority groups having a greater risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19, and a lower likelihood of getting vaccinated, than white Americans.

It has become a new era of diversity and inclusion in the workplace — especially in healthcare — and it is essential to be ahead of the curve.

What This Means For Your Website

Americans in minority groups want to go to providers who look like them, and their health improves when they do.

In addition to bolstering your efforts to hire a diverse team, step up diversity in marketing. Use your organization’s providers in marketing materials rather than stock imagery and footage. If you’re planning on using testimonials, make sure that the patients who share their stories represent your entire patient population.

Listen to Modern Healthcare’s Next Up podcast episode (hosted by CareContent), Dealing with two crises Pt. 2.”

Just remember that at the end of the day, the real way to make a difference is to make actual improvements and not give out empty promises. Marketing your organization as committed to diversity and inclusion efforts shouldn’t be a smokescreen. Make sure that your organization’s culture lives up to what you’re marketing.

And that goes for your entire website.

You provide your patients with amazing care — and your website should show just that.

Whether it means making a few quick updates or doing a complete website overhaul, keeping your online presence in line with the latest healthcare trends is essential. Let the team at CareContent help you get started.