Boosting This Season’s Flu Shot Numbers Through Effective Outreach Strategies
Why Get the Flu Shot?
The flu can make one feel miserable and very sick. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months old and older get a flu vaccine yearly.
Vaccines work by exposing the body to a small amount of the virus or bacteria, which teaches the immune system how to fight it off. This makes it more likely that the body will fight off the disease if exposed to the real thing.
The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that protects against two types of influenza viruses: A (H3N2) and B. It cannot cause the flu because it contains no live virus, only an inactive virus.
Tips on Outreach Strategies for Getting Patients to Come in for Flu Vaccine
As a federally qualified health clinic (FQHC), you play a critical role in helping to get patients vaccinated against the flu. The flu vaccine is available at no cost to patients at FQHC sites, but it is still essential to have a plan to ensure that your patients are aware of their options and come in for their shots.
Here are some tips for outreach strategies that FQHCs can use:
Promote the Flu Vaccine Throughout the Year
Start promoting flu shots early in the season to ensure that your patients know their options and come in for their shots. If you’re using a patient portal system in your clinic, consider sending out reminders throughout the year about the upcoming flu shot campaign and information on what signs and symptoms to look out for during the winter months.
You can contact the local health department to find out when flu shots will be available for free, or you can place an ad in your local newspaper announcing that flu vaccines are available at your clinic. You could also include information about flu vaccinations on your website, including a list of clinics that offer them. This gives your patients plenty of time to make an appointment if they wish to do so.
Show the value to the individual patient as well as the community as a whole!
, we see individual patients opting out of the flu shot as they believe other people will get the shot and that will prevent the spread of the virus, however we all know if everyone thinks this way we would be in deep trouble. Ensuring you show your patients the benefit to not only their health but including their contribution to the community add another decision-making layer that just might tip the scales in favor of getting a flu shot.
Make Sure Your Staff Knows the Importance of Vaccinating Patients
The best way to ensure that your staff is well-informed about flu vaccines is to hold an in-house training session. This will give your medical assistants and other staff members the tools to answer questions about flu season and why patients need to get vaccinated. In addition, ensure everyone understands how a flu shot works and why it’s recommended as a preventative measure against contracting the illness.
In addition to providing the necessary information, you can also use this time to review your clinic’s flu shot policy and ensure it reflects your patients’ needs. If you don’t have one in place yet, this is an excellent opportunity to create one, so everyone knows what’s expected from them during flu season.
Build a Strong Relationship Your Patients
When it comes to building a strong relationship with your patients, one of the best ways is by making yourself available. If you’re always running late or are hard to reach, they will start looking elsewhere for medical care. While this may not seem like such a big deal now, it can impact your bottom line down the road when they decide they don’t need your services anymore.
A strong relationship with your patients will not only help you create an effective flu shot campaign, but it can also help you build loyalty and trust among your patients. By creating a personal connection with them, they’ll be more likely to trust what you have to say and follow through on their end of things.
Provide Information About the Flu Vaccine
Providing information about the flu vaccine is another way to get patients excited about receiving it. You can create an informational pamphlet and hand it out in your practice or attach it to the consent form they fill out when they visit for their appointment. This will help them understand why you recommend this specific vaccine and what they can expect.
You can also provide information on the flu vaccine and why it’s essential to get vaccinated yearly. You could even include statistics about how many people die from the flu annually and what age groups are most at risk for complications from this illness.
Benefits of Outreaching to Patients With Digital Tools
If you want to increase the number of patients vaccinated for the flu, you may need to reach out to them with digital tools that help you spread the word about your flu shot program. There are several benefits of outreaching patients using digital tools:
HIPAA Compliant: You can send secure messages to patients through text, email, and other channels. This allows you to provide information about the flu shot without worrying about violating HIPAA regulations.
Allowable use of most grant funds, when combined with health education tactics: Many grant programs allow you to use health education tactics as an acceptable use of grant funds. By combining digital outreach with other types of health education, you can reach a broader audience and increase the number of patients vaccinated for the flu.
Campaigns reach a wider audience, bring in more patients, and are easier to track results: Digital campaigns are easier to track and measure than traditional health education campaigns. This helps you understand which tactics are most effective at reaching patients to continue improving your digital outreach’s effectiveness.
Digital Campaigns Are a Great Way To Reach More Patients
With 84% of internet users relying on the internet to search for information, you should consider incorporating digital marketing in your flu outreach campaigns. Some of these strategies include:
- PPC (Search) Ads – These ads are displayed when a user searches for information related to pandemics. They can be targeted based on age, gender, and location. You can also use them to search for products that have been recalled due to concerns about having the H1N1 virus on them.
- Display Ads – Display ads are typically seen on websites and social media pages where they can be targeted based on demographics such as age, gender, and location. These ads also promote items that may help prevent infection or reduce virus symptoms.
- Social Media – Social media has been a great way to spread information about the flu pandemic. You can use your social media handles to provide important information about what patients should do when they get sick or how they can protect their families from getting sick if exposed to someone suffering from the flu.
- Connected TV ads- Connected TV ads are a great way to reach people who are home and have time to watch TV. You can target these ads based on age and location to show them to the people who will benefit most from them.
- Content writing- Good content is the best way to get people’s attention. You can create blog posts, infographics, and other forms of content to help you reach a wider audience and keep them coming back for more. Content marketing is also great because it enables you to build trust with your audience so they know they can trust your brand when they need medical advice online or offline.
- Web development- You can build a website optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. This will help you get more traffic to your site, which makes it easier for people to find the information they need when they have medical questions.
If you’re looking for a proven flu shot campaign this coming season please reach out to us so we can help. Whether you’re a one-person marketing team, or a have thoroughly built team we can assist to ensure your campaigns reach and convert a wider base in your service areas. Just schedule a call with our team to learn more