Use Patient Education to Spread the Word About COVID-19 Vaccines

Krissy Kuhlmann, Healthwise Implementation Consultant

The COVID-19 vaccine has begun rolling out across the country, but many Americans are unsure of whether the coronavirus shot is right for them, while still others have no idea when doses will even be available for their risk group.


At times like this, health education can play a critical role in your community outreach efforts. The COVID-19 topics provided by health education vendors, like Healthwise, give your members and patients access to accurate and timely information so they can make informed decisions.

But letting these topics sit in your database won’t help anyone. It’s time to leverage those assets and reach people in every corner of the country.

Healthcare marketing teams and outreach programs are facing a nearly unprecedented situation in modern history: Convincing nearly every person in the U.S. to get the same medical treatment. That means reaching and educating more than 300 million people!

Spreading the Word About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Here are some ways your organization can expand the reach of your COVID-19 vaccine education.

  • Send email blasts. Virtually everyone on your mailing list needs this information and will find it helpful. Even if they’ve already received their shot, they certainly know someone else who hasn’t yet and can pass the information along.
  • Create announcement popups on member and patient portals. Make this content the first thing people see when they arrive at your portal, with links to more information.
  • Include vaccine education at every touchpoint. Each point of contact, whether related to COVID-19 or not, is another opportunity to say, “By the way, I have some information here on the coronavirus vaccine.” Include information on when people will be able to schedule vaccine appointments.
  • Provide the content to your nurses, clinicians, and coaches. When answering phone and portal messages, they can use this health education material to answer questions and cover key talking points.


Be Part of a Larger Community Outreach Plan

To reach even more people and provide uniform messaging across the entire region, you can align your communication with your state’s vaccine distribution plan.

By partnering with local health departments, you can help provide consistent messaging and resources on where to access accurate information, how to make an appointment, who falls into each risk category, and what the projected vaccination schedule will look like.

You can also provide a better understanding of the populations specific to your region, and help create outreach specific to their needs.

  • What technology will seniors use to access health information?
  • Do you have a large rural population that could benefit from mobile vaccine clinics?
  • Which non-English-speaking groups in your area will need a large amount of translated material?
  • Will some demographics need a more proactive approach before they agree to get the vaccine?

Investing in advertising campaigns with your local health department is also an excellent way to reach people. For example, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has run ads on Facebook and Instagram about the state’s vaccine rollout plan.

Community Outreach Is Where Technology Shines

When dealing with population health, you need a variety of technologies and materials to reach a variety of people. This is where your multimedia health content comes in.

  • Content as a Service (CaaS)—short, preformatted, predesigned pieces of health information such as videos, graphics, and condition topics—makes it easy to greet every portal visitor with the information they need.
  • A topic database/library lets coaches, care managers, and clinicians talk through conditions and treatments over the phone, providing consistent information every single time.
  • Printed content is easy to hand out in the office or to distribute to the public on a small scale.
  • Text messages and emails linking to CaaS topics reach everyone with a computer, tablet, or smartphone, wherever they are.

However you do it, whatever technology you use, whomever you target, do what you can to get accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine to the public. We’re up against misinformation (and sometimes outright lies) all over the web and in the media, so it’s important that we speak louder than they do. Give Americans real answers and real data every day, every time, everywhere.