The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of modern life, including how we work, communicate, and interact. The industry that has grappled with some of the most disruptive and long-lasting changes is, of course, healthcare. Spectrio, as a trusted marketing communication tech for many organizations in healthcare, has kept tabs on the trends our clients and the industry at large have faced in the past 12 months.

Whether you work at a large healthcare system, a regional hospital, private practice, or an outpatient clinic, it’s likely that your workplace has experienced some combination of the following in the past year.

1. The importance of ensuring safe environments and precautions related to COVID.

Every branch of the healthcare industry has had to adjust their operations to meet regional directives and the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. This has included things like sanitization stations, temperature checks at entry points, creating COVID wards from scratch, and consistently meeting varying social distancing requirements. Blogs like this one have become commonplace, as has the use of digital signage to keep patients, visitors, and employees up to date on everything ranging from mask requirements to who is eligible to receive a vaccine.

2. Providing accurate, up-to-date on-hold information–which often varies by state. 

Much like the nature of COVID itself, the information regarding safety procedures is constantly changing. This has put strain on healthcare organizations when it comes to providing their patients with accurate, up-to-date information on a day-to-day basis. Additional challenges also come from the fact that COVID restrictions and mask mandates often vary by state–and sometimes even county by county. In response, many hospitals, clinics, and practices have turned to phone on-hold messaging as a way to keep patients in the loop and easily communicate directives without being face to face. This method, however, isn’t without its challenges, as said on-hold messaging audio programs must also be constantly updated to match the newest language regarding the pandemic to relay accurate and timely information.

3. Clear internal communications for all staff members. 

Staff safety is just as important as that of their patients–and that has never been more apparent than during the last 12 months. For healthcare organizations across the country, ensuring their employees are leading by example when it comes to COVID safety measures is of peak importance. Some hospitals have used digital signage on TVs throughout the facility to alert staff to the number of active COVID patients, or COVID rates in the city or county, as well as providing reminders regarding PPE protocols.

4. Sharing important vaccine information. 

As vaccines become more widely available, it falls on many healthcare organizations to provide the general public with information regarding their effects, risks, benefits, and distribution. On-premise, these institutions are relying on digital signage and interactive kiosks as a way to disseminate information to patients awaiting vaccines at vaccine clinics. Things like the type of vaccine available and common side effects can be displayed without having to require doctors and nurses to give constant updates in the middle of their other duties. Additionally, mimicking the CDC’s V-Safe protocol, many healthcare organizations are enabling those who have received the vaccine to track symptoms via text and surveys on their Smartphones.

While vaccine distribution seems to be curving both the spread and the severity of COVID infections, these trends in healthcare are unlikely to fully vanish.