Coronavirus: What Consumers are Saying Online | Binary Fountain

March 13, 2020

Coronavirus: What Consumers, Patients, and Caregivers are Saying Online and How Healthcare Organizations Can Respond

By: Kieran McQuilkin

A map of U.S. coronavirus cases as of March 13, 2020. Credit: CSSE at JHU

In this article, you will learn: 

  • Where consumers are posting online about coronavirus and frequently asked questions 
  • What consumers are saying about healthcare organizations related to COVID-19 
  • How to monitor patient feedback and social media for coronavirus-related mentions of your brand 

The emergence and spread of coronavirus is weighing heavily on the healthcare industry, as care providers scramble to answer a flood of questions from patients and community members. 

As a consumer experience and patient feedback management platform, we know those questions are coming quickly and from many directions. To help you navigate this difficult situation, we hope to provide resources and tools to keep your business operating smoothly. 

In this article, we will offer guidance on what consumers are saying about coronavirus and how to use the Binary Fountain platform to update the public with key information. To do so, we collected data on common coronavirus inquiries and consumer feedback and outlined steps toward providing a quality consumer experience and protecting your brand during this crisis. 

What Healthcare Consumers Are Saying About Coronavirus Online 

Search terms, social media posts and patient feedback mentioning coronavirus (COVID-19) are spiking, with comments and questions about potential symptoms, preventative measures, where the virus is spreading and where to find care in a worst-case scenario. 

When considering which feedback platforms to monitor, start with Twitter. Binary Fountain clients using Binary Health Analytics have amassed thousands of mentions of the virus connected to their brand on the social media site (including retweets). As the newsiest of the social media giants, Twitter topics related to coronavirus most frequently involve notifications about new cases, community updates from healthcare providers and links to informational content. 

Meanwhile, healthcare organizations using Binary Fountain’s Social Listening tool have been mentioned alongside coronavirus in hundreds of Facebook comments and posts on Facebook business profiles. The most common Facebook mentions of the virus include questions about providers’ preparedness, provider reviews about flu-like symptom treatment, and concerns about process changes brought on by facilities’ preventative measures. 

They aren’t all bad: One children’s hospital received a Facebook comment in which grandparents of someone who recovered from coronavirus thanked the organization for treating their grandsonOther frequent comments on Facebook offer prevention advice, share news articles and link to resources like the CDC coronavirus site. 

While those are the most popular platforms in terms of COVID-19 mentions, you should also check third-party review sites and Google listingsThey attract fewer comments related to the virus, but for Binary Fountain clients, most of those messages are more detailed – mostly describing patient experiences while being examined for flu-like symptoms. 

Using Binary Fountain to Track Coronavirus Mentions 

Hospitals and clinics across the U.S. will benefit from monitoring reviews, surveys and other feedback for mentions of coronavirus paired with their brand. To manage the flood of information, healthcare organizations are using consumer experience technologies like Binary Fountain to help automate and streamline that process. 

On the Binary Health Analytics dashboard, healthcare organizations can filter their patient feedback across all platforms using specific keywords like “coronavirus symptoms, “COVID-19” and “coronaviridae.” With patients expecting swift answers from their local providers, technology platforms are allowing these organizations to instantly qualm consumers’ worries, no matter where nor how they express those concerns. 

Mentions of COVID-19 on Google reviews and Google Q&A are less frequent than on social media. However, anticipating questions from consumers and posting them to those listings can prevent an influx of FAQs and save time for your staff. If consumers have already asked questions about coronavirus on your Google My Business listings, respond quickly and empathetically to their concerns. 

Our healthcare clients are seeing increased feedback about changed operating hours, updated service offerings and closed facilities due to precautionary measures. If you need to close locations, temporarily suspend specific services or make other changes, you can update your facilities’ data inside the Binary Health Analytics platform so updates flow immediately to any listings powered by Binary Fountain 

Your organization should also closely monitor social media mentions and post proactive messages on social media, keeping the public aware of the situation at your facilities and in the community. Binary Fountain’s Social Media Management tools are being used by healthcare organizations ttrack mentions of coronavirus in relation to their brandpublish informational posts across all their social media profiles, and respond to comments and reviews in real-time. 

Here is an example of a helpful social media post distributed by a healthcare brand across multiple platforms:  

[Healthcare organization] is screening for the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) at all sites. If you suspect that you or someone in your family may be at risk for coronavirus, we ask that you wear a mask prior to entering a [healthcare organization] site to help ensure patient safety. Masks can be found at the entrance of each location. Learn more below.” 

More Healthcare Resources for COVID-19 Preparation 

Though much is still unknown about COVID-19, its transmission dynamics, and its treatments, there are numerous resources available to stay well informed. 

The World Health Organization (WHO)  has assembled several resources around the topic of coronavirus, which you can find here. It also developed free online training courses for healthcare workers and created checklists for provider risk communications and community engagement. 

The CDC suggests a cautious approach to persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, recommending that healthcare personnel evaluating PUI or providing care for patients with confirmed COVID-19 should use Standard Precautions, Contact Precautions, Airborne Precautions, and use eye protection. Providers should also consult with local or state health departments to determine whether patients meet criteria for a PUI, and should immediately notify infection control personnel at their facility if they suspect the virus in a patient. You can find more CDC coronavirus information here. 

In addition to the WHO and CDC resources, Johns Hopkins created an interactive map that tracks (in real-time) the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. and globally. 

We wish you and your teams the best during this critical moment for the healthcare industryWe are here to help your patient experience teams and marketing operations with anything you need, so please reach out with any questions or concerns.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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