(Update #3) Starter Ideas for Helping Clients During a Pandemic

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Covid-19 Update: March 21, 2020

Responses to my previous post indicate many advocates are beginning to emerge from your “OMG” moments and trying to figure out how to get started, to prepare yourselves for what is to come.  GREAT!

Here’s a start – a good idea for getting your head into the right space while you help others: Research local pharmacies, their hours, their delivery options, and phone numbers. Do some outreach to current and pending clients (call, text, or email) to ask them about their supply of their regular, daily meds, and to remind them they will need to stock up. Lead times for refills may be longer during this crisis, so early-ordering is essential.

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(Update #2) Fostering the Right Attitude for Your Clients and Your Practice

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Covid-19 Update: March 19, 2020

During the past week, as the coronavirus / COVID-19 crisis has taken over our lives, I have heard from many advocates who are taking all the steps needed to stay safe, who tell me they are recommending such steps to others, and that (in the words of one) they are “just planning to wait it out until this all blows over.”

No NO No No No! 

That is NOT the right thinking for smart practice owners!  In fact, it’s just the opposite of how we should be looking at our world right now, as follows:

We are in the throes of a health crisis!  A crisis is a crisis – and if you are someone who calls yourself a professional, working in the health and medical space, then this is the PRIME TIME to step up, to become pro-active – and to shine!  This is NOT the time to wait for the crisis to blow over!

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Patient Advocates and the Coronavirus

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know you can’t turn on the news, read news online or in a newspaper, or attend an event, or go anywhere – in person or online – without seeing or hearing something about the 2019 coronavirus.

It’s the only health-related story that can knock the horror of uncontrolled medical bills lower down the list of headlines. And, of course, because its eventual impact is totally unknown, it frightens people in ways only the media knows how to frighten people.

Since we all work in the world of health and medical care, and because advocates are known to be straight-shooters (because our allegiance is only to patients!) you may find friends, family, clients, and potential clients turning to you for information, asking you questions about the virus. I know this because in 2009, when the Swine Flu (H1N1) hit, I was writing for About.com (now VeryWellHealth.com ) and the number of people reading my articles shot from about 20,000 a day to 100,000+ readers per day – all reading articles I had written about Swine Flu from a patient’s point of view. From curtailing conspiracy theories, to dos’ and don’ts, to staying safe, etc… They weren’t science. They were reassurance through facts, focused on providing peace of mind.

Now, fast forward 10+ years, and it’s time for all patient advocates to step up to that role. Everyone can access the web and read what’s there – frightening information put out there by groups that DO want us to be afraid, and groups who DO want us to spend money to allay our fears.

So – as advocates and care managers – let’s see what we can do to be different!

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Need More Clients? 3 Marketing Realities and Resources

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“My directory listing doesn’t attract enough clients. What am I doing wrong?”

“I get calls, but we hang up the phone without a contract! What am I doing wrong?”

“I finished working with my client and don’t have anyone else to help. Now what?”

These are questions I am asked frequently and repeatedly. Maybe you have the same ones!

The answer to each one relates to marketing.

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Get Unstuck – Learn to Overcome the Paralysis of Analysis

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Common scenario:

You have dreamed about becoming a private health /patient advocate or care manager for a while. You know you can do it, you know you are a good advocate, your heart really WANTS to change careers to advocacy, you know people need help with their medical system challenges…

Plus everyone you know thinks it’s a great idea! They all tell you – OMG – there is such a huge need!

Maybe you have helped friends and family members over the years, or you have been a doctor or nurse for decades. (I often hear, “I’ve been an advocate all my life. Now I just want to get paid for it!”)

But something, maybe not clearly defined, is holding you back. Mostly it’s because you know you would have to start your own business to be truly independent (there’s the Allegiance Factor, after all)… and you’re not sure you’ve got the chops to do that. You just can’t seem to make that leap from being a volunteer who steps in to help, to being a professional, privately-paid, patient advocate, navigator, or care manager in your own private patient advocacy practice.

You’re just stuck. Your heart is THERE! But your brain won’t let you move forward. Sound familiar?

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