We all need healthcare service, whether we care to think about it or not. Hopefully, we won’t find ourselves in a hospital for an extreme condition—especially these days, when the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging hospitals and healthcare systems. That being said, healthcare systems are there for a reason. Everyone gets sick and, when they do, they need to put their faith in something. Often, that faith is placed in a healthcare system or in the hands of a doctor or other trusted clinician.
Sometimes, though, people are looking for something more than science—a higher power that can help them make sense of their condition and the necessary medications or treatments that accompany it. This niche in the healthcare arena is filled by religious healthcare systems.
If that sounds like an oxymoron, it’s not. Actually having a healthcare system that’s guided by a pastor or another religious leader makes a lot of sense. After all, many people believe in both science and a higher power. For regular attendees of a Sunday service who get up Monday morning for a digital health appointment with a clinician, why shouldn’t there be a religious healthcare space?
If you’re considering this unique take on the health marketplace as a startup, read on for some things to bear in mind.
Reach out to local places of worship and parishes
Remember, part of being in fellowship means that you’re not alone. There are many people practicing indoor worship (while maintaining adherence to CDC guidelines for COVID-19, of course). For example, if you’re in the Bay Area, try and reach out to people who are starting a church in San Francisco.
While you won’t be crafting a sermon for Sunday worship or offering blessings to your community in the same way a pastor would, you may find that your struggles are similar. Plus, any pastor would be happy to refer their flock to a health system that’s respectful of religious beliefs, while treating chronic conditions with scientific stringency.
A smart way to provide patient care to religious folks who need it is to find people in San Francisco, New York, San Jose, or anywhere in the United States that you happen to be located in and work with them.
Partner with like-minded entrepreneurs
Just like you would partner with a pastor in San Francisco, you should also find startup entrepreneurs to work with. One aspect of patient care is providing affordable prices for prescription medication, and that can be done by utilizing the Digital Health Marketplace on USARx to fill your clinics with affordable prescription medications.
The Digital Health Marketplace can help worshippers and patients alike, regardless of who their healthcare providers are and what health apps or health insurance they use. By partnering with entrepreneurs who are working to make the healthcare industry more affordable, like the folks at USARx, you’ll save payers a ton of money, which will be greatly appreciated.
Provide in-house worship gatherings, with a safety plan in place
Whether you’re in the Bay Area or NYC, the patient population you attract will appreciate the opportunity to worship, especially if they’re stuck in the hospital on a Sunday. Don’t make the oversight of forgetting to let worshippers pray. You might reach out to someone starting a new church in Oakland or San Jose and offer them the opportunity to hold a Sunday service in one of your clinics.
Whatever way you choose to go about this, make sure that the patient population maintains a strict adherence to CDC COVID-19 guidelines. That means masks, limited capacity, ventilation, and lots of hand-washing. While this may not be the church service offering everyone is used to, it will definitely be better than nothing at all.
A religious healthcare service is just what people need, especially now in this time of crisis. Use these tips, and you’ll see the appointments start to flow in.