Boston hospital extends reach through journalism-style content

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center produces stories and videos for its website and those of local TV and radio stations; the strategy has helped raise its profile.

Never mind the doctors and nurses, the ambulances pulling up to unload patients at the ER.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center may look like a hospital, but it also produces content like a media outlet, cranking out stories for its own website and video and audio for Boston TV and radio stations.

It tailors its communications to reach patients through the places where they gather information—a strategy that involves using journalists to create stories and launching interactive information portals on its website and YouTube channel.

“We have a lot of former journalists who work with us,” says Rhonda Mann, the hospital’s director of marketing communications, “mostly because they know how to ask the right questions from a consumer standpoint and to take what can be very technical health information and boil it down into language that makes sense to everybody.”

Beth Israel Deaconess is one of three hospitals that are part of CareGroup Healthcare System, which Thomson Reuters recently listed as one of the country’s top 10 health systems. is examining the Internet communications strategies of these hospitals.

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