Given the social distancing norms and various restrictions on movement within cities, there has been a greater need for private hospitals to use digital platforms for communication. On their part, hospitals have been using social media to share PSA messages, updates, helpline numbers, COVID-19 resources, and information on video consults. These posts, often accompanied by creatives, are helping them avoid crowding at premises and keep patients updated.
Recently, a number of hospitals and doctors had taken to Twitter to create timely noise about the depleting levels of oxygen available with them. These were SOS calls to the authorities that helped them secure the required resources and assure patients that they care about them. These were followed by updates when the said items were received by the hospitals, helping with transparency. Some hospitals are also using Twitter to direct patients to their apps and helpline numbers for gaining access to verified information.
As an attempt to support government authorities in battling vaccination hesitancy, private hospitals are chipping in to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines. They are sharing creatives and organizing webinars to explain why these vaccines are important and why people should get them as soon as possible. The larger narrative is about the importance of immunization, in sync with the recently observed World Immunisation Week.
People do have a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and how these would impact their daily lives. In order to answer these questions and tackle vaccine hesitancy, hospitals are sharing advisories and answering FAQs about COVID-19 vaccines via social media creatives. These creatives can even be downloaded and shared on platforms like WhatsApp in a bid to reduce misinformation around vaccines.
To ensure that people do understand the importance of COVID-19 vaccines as a tool to immunize the population and restore normalcy, there is a need to keep amplifying COVID-19 PSA messages. These are generic messages that focus on the importance of vaccines and how they can contribute to getting things back to normal. They also include messages about washing hands regularly, social distancing, and the importance of wearing a mask. correctly.
Even though COVID-19 is overwhelming the healthcare in the country, it isn’t the only disease that’s impacting the lives of people at the moment. There are quite a few other illnesses, especially chronic conditions, that require consults on a regular basis. Due to lockdown and related restrictions, hospital visits have become difficult. Thus, video consults have become more important than ever before. Using social media, hospitals can be seen encouraging patients to opt for these consults rather than missing appointments.
Social media is helping hospitals communicate with people in real-time. The creatives that are put up have the potential of being shared on these platforms as well as on other messaging platforms — thus increasing the reach of these PSAs. With everything turning more and more digital, these are necessary steps with varied benefits.