Hospitals around the country are beginning to make better use of audio and video patient testimonials on their websites and service-line microsites. Granted, as an industry they’ve been slow to the party, but that’s largely because of their deliberate caution related to issues like privacy, Medicaid reimbursements, and other liabilities. All of that seems to be changing now, and you see plenty of examples of audio and video programs on hospital websites, particularly with the large academic medical centers. Here is a nice example from UCLA Medical Center.
For smaller organizations, the high cost of professionally produced video has been constraining. On the other hand, “cheap video” shot by someone’s nephew and posted on YouTube doesn’t necessarily do service to a hospital’s effort to extend its brand and build consumer affinity for its services.
There are, however, relatively inexpensive ways to produce and present high-quality audio and video. I think one of the best examples that may serve as a model for hospitals is the series called Patient Voices done by the New York Times. These are 2 minute patient testimonial audiocasts with 4-5 corresponding photos in a slide show. They are very moving even though their production value is modest. There’s no program introduction, no music, no voice over, no graphics other than the photos, and you can tell the audio edit of each was minimal. It’s just the patient telling his or her story.
For people facing life-altering or life-threatening conditions, hearing from other patients with similar stories is engaging and supportive.
DCP is working on projects like these for hospital (and non-hospital) clients. Call me if you want to know more about it.