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Industry Trends & News

Trend Analysis: How Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted Medical Practices?

Jasmine Roozbanian's Headshot Jasmine Roozbanian Director of Advertising

Every medical practice owner knows that the coronavirus pandemic has turned the industry upside down. Now more than ever, consumers are turning to medical professionals like you for accurate guidance and the vital services they need to stay healthy.

Questions about how to manage your practice safely and successfully at a time like this are completely understandable. Our goal at Scorpion is to arm you with the data necessary to make informed decisions and provide value to your potential and current patients.

We’ve put together a rundown of the trends we’ve seen across several medical practice areas. Read on to see how your potential patients are adapting to current conditions, as well as strategies that give your practice the best chance of being successful in the midst and aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.

Urgent Care & ER

In these uncertain times, consumers need your help to gather information, find testing sites, and get the immediate care they need. This is especially apparent when we look at the performance of Scorpion client campaigns, which have recently increased significantly.

In the last week alone, we’ve seen a 4% increase in conversion rates – expand that to the last 30 days and we’ve experienced a 66% spike in conversion rates across Scorpion client campaigns.

Users have also begun to search for local urgent care providers and emergency rooms by name more than ever before, reiterating the importance of maintaining visibility to your target audience. With the right marketing strategy, you can help people find answers to their can’t-wait health questions all while setting yourself up to bring in new patients.

Dentistry

With some states ordering “non-essential” businesses to close, dentists are having a hard time figuring out what category they’re in. Even though some states claim dentists are actually non-essential and should be closed, a few have revised their statements to specify that emergency or life-threatening dental services should be maintained.

The general public seems to be equally confused, as the below searches are on the rise according to Google Trends.

Our dentistry campaigns have seen a 60% increase in clicks just this past week for “emergency dentist” searches. While getting their teeth cleaned may not be the first thing in most consumers’ minds, the ones who need emergency dental care are still actively looking for it.

Even with searches on the rise, market costs continue to drop (there’s been a 10% decrease in cost per click and counting) due to competitors pulling their advertising dollars, it’s more crucial than ever to ensure your practice remains visible and is reaching patients who require emergency dental care.

Veterinarians

Veterinary clinics occupy the same gray area as dentists, but for the time being, most of these clinics have reported that they will not be closing their doors, especially for emergency services.

In fact, our veterinarian campaigns have seen a 50% increase in click traffic just this past week – showing that users are clearly concerned and searching to see whether or not their local vet is open for business.

In order to observe best practices for limiting the spread of coronavirus while still making sure pets stay healthy, some veterinary offices have started experimenting with creative solutions:

  1. Animals are being triaged over the phone and the FDA has begun facilitating telemedicine during the pandemic — i.e., vets are assessing animals via FaceTime.

  2. For pets that need to come into the office, vet staff are conducting “curbside visits,” meeting pet owners at their vehicles and bringing animals into the clinic on a leash while their owners stay in the car.

  3. For owners and pets who are coming by to pick up their medications or special foods, vet staff are taking payment over the phone and leaving items outside the front door when the owner has arrived and parked.

Chiropractors

Despite concern in some states that chiropractic care has been deemed a “non-essential” healthcare entity, the American Chiropractic Association is fighting back. Especially in times like these, when stress is high and options are low, chiropractic care has become more important than ever.

Google Trends chart depicting search interest for chiropractors from December 2019 to March 2020

Our chiropractic campaigns have seen a 40% increase in conversion rate from January to March, and that’s further supported by a 136% increase in click traffic and 150% increase in impressions.

Search interest for terms like “chiropractors in my area” have also increased by up to 180% — the majority of that interest being from states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming, and many more throughout the Midwest.

Orthodontics

From February to March, we’ve seen a 54% increase in conversion rate for our orthodontic campaigns, as well as the lowest cost-per-lead numbers we’ve seen yet – a drop of more than 170% when compared to February.

Changing market costs are a contributing factor for decreasing cost per lead – we’re seeing click costs drop by 24% from February to March, and with some mandatory closures, we expect costs to continue going down.

Even when it comes to medical practices deemed “non-essential,” most states allow exemptions in the case of specific, emergency services. If a patient comes to you in a situation that threatens their life or well-being, practice owners should continue providing their services with caution. This clarification has been specifically brought up in reference to services like dentistry and orthodontia.

To echo that point, we’ve started to see a dip in traffic for our more general searches, but there’s been an uptick in interest for emergency orthodontists.

Google Trends chart depicting search trends for emergency orthodontics from March 2019 to March 2020

Get the Answers You Need to Support Potential Patients

The coronavirus outbreak has caused uncertainty for medical practices and patients alike, and practice owners who keep a close eye on the trends around their specialties will be well-positioned to adapt to the changing climate. Now is a vital time for you to be a source of information and confidence, providing answers in uncertain times and staying in front of potential patients to maintain a strong reputation.

Everyone at Scorpion strives to be a resource to help you better serve your patients and protect your practice during these challenging times. For more helpful COVID-19 guidance, continue checking our resource page for newly added content, or contact us directly if you have any questions.

Trend Analysis: How Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted Medical Practices?
About the Author
Jasmine Roozbanian's Headshot Jasmine Roozbanian Director of Advertising

Jasmine Roozbanian is Director of Advertising for Scorpion’s franchise, medical and healthcare clients. Over the past five years, she has effectively managed each business unit to create and execute successful advertising strategies to help grow our clients’ businesses. She is also an integral part of Scorpion’s product development team and passionate about creating new and innovative systems to support even more effective, data-science advertising. In an effort to always try to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll often find her with a book in hand or sifting through data in order to find more lucrative opportunities for our clients.

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