Best Practices for Healthcare Companies: How To Respond to COVID-19

Image with building blocks showing medical icons.

Image source: Adobe Stock / oatawa.

The healthcare industry has teetered on the edge of full digital transformation – grappling with how to embrace the disruptive changes in digital and technology. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has set in motion an immediate need to throw-out the playbook when it comes to engaging with customers, and in healthcare this means digital needs to be a part of the strategy for serving patients.

With a critical need to provide services and reach the public with vital information, the healthcare industry can take cues from the customer experience strategies of their industry counterparts, especially retail. At Adobe, we’re passionate about exceptional customer – or patient – experiences. Now, more than ever, we see a need for digital transformation in healthcare, in order to reach and engage patients with timely COVID-19 information and services.

Below, we’ve shared best practices that healthcare organizations such as payers, providers, retail pharmacies, and life sciences can draw on to reach the public with their content and services. The time to be hyper-focused on your patient’s need has never been greater.

What challenges does the industry face?

Providing relevant, accurate and useful information is always a priority when communicating with your patients in times of constant change. During a crisis, this need increases and can put a strain on people and processes. With COVID-19, patients are looking for a range of information from how to purchase supplies (groceries, medication, household supplies) to how to seek testing, and care for the novel coronavirus. How are you providing accurate and relevant information?

Traditional or singular communication channels limit the content velocity needed during a crisis. Organizations may be faced with a need to unlock new, omni-channel strategies to distribute messages. Not only may these channels (SMS, social, mobile app) be new, but organizations must orchestrate the messages across them. Are you ready to open new communication channels and align audiences to the channels where they are most likely to engage?

Additionally, with social distancing measures in place, there is an increased reliance on digital alternatives. Directing patients to these alternatives while ensuring routine operations can function is critical. How are you using digital self-service options to meet non-critical and routine needs, while identifying and routing new needs like a desire to find COVID-19 testing centers? Finally**,** protocol for COVID-19 testing and treatment can change rapidly. Pushing content changes, updates on order fulfillments, or availability of resources will require new, streamlined workflows. How can you decrease dependency on IT, break outside-of-standard release cycles, and coordinate with legal to push experiences to market?

Best practices to enact today

Step one: Nominate an internal team to help reimagine your customer experience. A frequent hurdle to improved patient experiences is the internal processes and approvals needed to execute. In a time of crisis, organizations need to put those processes aside and nominate a team that can act quickly to put content into market. This “tiger team” can embrace the features of tools like Adobe Experience Cloud to test, learn, and iterate.

This team should include a sponsor who can navigate approval for the team’s ideas, in particular legal reviews and authorizations needed in the healthcare space. Also crucial to this team are content creators and developers who can create, publish, and maintain templates for housing information. Plus, a product owner is essential, to collect and translate requirements. Finally, data analysts are key members of the team because they can review insights in real time to make recommendations and improve the customer and patient experiences in market.

Step two: A simple best practice yet often forgotten–know your patient. The best patient experiences cut across organizational silos to understand a patient’s journey and pain points. Map how the journeys differ for audience segments you’re trying to reach. For example, the content journey 65+ year old and other at-risk populations, will be different than the journey of caregivers, those seeking COVID-19 treatment, or those seeking routine medical care.

Step three: Be relevant. Banners, landing pages, and FAQs should lead to information on COVID-19. The key to effectiveness is relevancy with your audience. How are you delivering the most pertinent information at any given time? Personalized experiences can help you cut through the noise. Use strong and clear calls to action to drive different audiences to the information they need quickly. Think about the channel and the emotional driver behind the search for your content or service.

Step four: Measuring the effectiveness of the content you put out will be critical. Testing has never been more important – try, try, and try again. Working with your data and insights teams will provide the knowledge needed to iterate and improve on your experiences. Define and set KPIs that help you measure conversion against digital self-service tools and telehealth options. The right KPIs will also help you evaluate the omni-channel strategies created to aid in sharing information such as coverage clarity, continued COVID-19 education, and provider location.

Finally, learn from your peers and leverage your Adobe solutions to shift your strategies to capture your patient’s attention and guide them along a path to wellness. The Healthcare team within Adobe Consulting Services will partner with you to speed your time to market and target the right population. We have created a playbook ready to help you execute, letting you focus on business and mission critical functions.

Reach us at

Join us on April 1st at 12:00 PM CDT for a webinar with several partners and experts to cover: The State of Digital Health in 2020: Payer and Provider Perspectives

*Special thanks to Erin Gahren, Valerie Groneman, Sarah Murphy, Abir Shome, and Joel Ruane for their contributions to this article.