Immediacy isn’t generally considered one of the major selling points of the point-of-care channel. Marketers and POC networks themselves more often tend to highlight patient/caregiver mindset (e.g., that such audiences tend to be more receptive to new information in the presence of a physician or pharmacist) and depth and variety of content (printed materials/video/interactivity) as the channel’s chief virtues.
But as the coronavirus crisis continues to intensify, POC network providers have reprogrammed their content offerings to convey messages specific to the current scourge. Mesmerize, Outcome Health and PatientPoint have all, to some degree, interrupted their usual rotations of health and marketing content with well-sourced information about coronavirus, its symptoms and the steps individuals should take to keep themselves healthy.
Mesmerize president and chief revenue officer Craig Mait noted that point-of-care networks delivering content digitally can quickly reorient their content mix in the face of emerging health crises. “It feels like there’s almost an obligation for us to raise awareness of what’s going on, especially since there’s been some mixed messages,” he says.
To combat such messaging, Mesmerize has fed its network information from the Centers For Disease Control and the World Health Organization, mostly slides and short videos that are updated or replaced as events warrant. “Content systems like ours allow us to weight the media and balance the number of plays. COVID-19 information is given a higher weight than the standard health and wellness content that plays regularly, so we get it out there more often,” Mait explained.
Mesmerize isn’t alone. PatientPoint has been running educational messages within its programming and sharing assets for providers to share via their own social and online channels. “With coronavirus (COVID-19), like any outbreak that could potentially affect so many across the country, PatientPoint quickly developed educational content and is continuing to develop content for all of our programs to help patients and providers to help them get the information they need to remain safe and healthy,” said chief client officer Linda Ruschau.
As for Outcome Health, CEO Matt McNally noted the company has created content he describes as “headline-type information specifically supported with visuals… it’s facts and figures from the CDC, but wrapped in emotional and empathetic support.” The content has been pushed out to Outcome’s network of devices to “combat the heightened sense of anxiety within those four walls.”
That sense of anxiety remains at a fever pitch as physicians attempt to manage the coronavirus crisis, but each of the network execs believe their efforts are helping to mitigate the fear and confusion many patients are feeling – whether they find themselves at the point of care to be treated for a potential coronavirus infection or for another malady. “Nobody really knows what’s going to happen next,” Mait acknowledged. “But we want to be a part of the solution and help with this situation as things keep changing, whether for better or worse. Our screens are powerful tools. It’s real estate well spent.”