Video can be a valuable strategic tool in your communications kit, but health care organizations must take care to handle it appropriately.
HIPAA requirements, patient safety and other issues can complicate your use of video, leading to major legal problems.
You and your staff should be aware of the opportunities that video offers to communicate with staff internally, reach out to patients and market what your hospitals have to offer.
As the 522 Productions website notes:
Of all video marketing tactics, companies in the healthcare industry find the creation of informative videos, such as disease and disorder guides, useful for patients. From conducting interviews with medical specialists to providing an eye-catching introduction to common diseases and conditions, healthcare videos offer viewers useful information while increasing brand awareness and confidence. According to Google Think, approximately 1 in 8 patients use online video to research hospitals, health insurance, and health information.
Here’s what should be on your radar screen as you think about video:
Internally: Staff communication
Communicating with hundreds of employees in a hospital can seem daunting. As the ezTalks website points out, video conferencing can solve a lot of problems:
[I]n a facility serving tens of thousands of patients annually, employee communication can be challenging. Clinical staff is now making use video conferencing capabilities to communicate without having to move from one room to the next. This clearly illustrates how healthcare video conferencing can help medics communicate more effectively, collaborate more efficiently, and enhance many of their day-to-day activities. The technology also allows for on-site information to be passed down to patients and visitors, emergency broadcasts, and more.
For a look at different kinds of videoconferencing technology, check out ezTalks’ rundown here.
Marketing: Patient testimonials
Satisfied patients are among your strongest marketing allies. The Influence Health website suggests:
Let’s say you want to promote a specific service line, such as cardiology or oncology. Who better to help tell your story than the people your hospital has already treated? Video testimonials from patients carry weight with consumers who haven’t yet finalized their treatment or facility decisions. They express empathy from the point of view of someone who’s been in the prospective patient’s situation.
For an example of an inspiring patient testimonial, check out this video of a young breast cancer survivor from Memorial Cancer Institute:
The video begins not with a logo or a stark building exterior, but with one health care practitioner’s heartfelt description of the patient, and then another. The narrative arc begins before we see any hospital branding.
That immediate human connection helps the viewer settle in with something positive and personally relatable before it tackles the difficult subject of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Externally: Community contact
Getting through the clutter to reach potential patients and market your services calls for some specific techniques for video. The Medicom Health website advises:
1. Tell a story. Telling a story is an essential key to establishing an emotional connection with viewers. In health care, it is easy just to focus on the products and services using overly specific or rote messaging. While being specific is important, remember the context. Telling your story and giving an introduction first will allow viewers to digest the information more easily.
Here’s a video of Staten Island University Hospital’s outreach to the Albanian community:
2. Consider animation. Animated videos are an excellent way to explain complex information in a user-friendly format. Incorporate elements from your other marketing collateral to provide continuity between pieces. Animation can add a personal touch and connect emotionally with viewers.
This animated video from the Children’s Hospital of East Ontario explains to children what cancer is and how the hospital treats it:
Communicators, how are you using video to reach out to your audiences, both internal and external?