The end of summer signals the beginning of flu season – or at least the start of flu shot season. And you want your urgent care center to be on the front lines.
There are many marketing advantages to promoting flu shots in urgent care, whether it’s through on-site clinics or at your center. You could attract new patients and keep existing patients coming back by offering inexpensive and convenient flu shot services.
Many companies are looking to boost flu vaccination rates among employees to keep healthcare costs down and reduce sick leave. Working with these businesses on a flu shot program could lead to an ongoing relationship for occupational medicine services through your urgent care center.
There are also plenty of public health benefits to boosting the vaccination efforts across the country. Flu season peaks between November and March, and flu-related illnesses kill about 36,000 people in the U.S. each year. But research shows those who get the influenza vaccine are less likely to get the illness (and usually have less-severe symptoms if they do come down with the flu).
The flu shot is recommended for almost everyone over the age of six months. This message goes out to the public every fall, yet only about half the population follows through with the vaccination.
It’s always a good idea to bring flu shot flyers, post signs, and hang flags or banners. But you may also want to get a little creative in marketing this fall.
Here are a few other marketing techniques to consider:
- Record videos to post on the center’s website and social media pages. These could be creative PSAs from staff members, or maybe even testimonials about the flu shot process from patients.
- Promote the flu shot services in the on-hold message for those calling the urgent care center.
- Educate staff members on the flu shots and use them as community ambassadors. Encourage them to promote the service at churches, recreation leaguesand events, and in clubs.
- Get interviewed about the flu and the vaccination by local media, or submit a guest column to the newspaper on flu-related topics.
- Send text or email reminder messages to existing patients about the importance of getting a flu shot.
- Have front office staff ask patients during the intake process if they’ve received a flu shot yet.
- Have providers mention the flu shot availability to patients during the visit.
Make sure to remind patients that they can’t get a flu shot during a sick visit (they must be well) – but that they can seek treatment for suspected flu if they get sick. It’s important to educate consumers that an antiviral drug can ease flu symptoms if it’s given to the patient soon after symptoms appear. They don’t have to just fight through the illness if they get it.