Has your healthcare organization embraced video and all the ways it can be used? If not, you’re missing out on an effective tool that appeals to both existing and prospective patients, experts say. For many medical practices, video has become the cornerstone of their marketing program, and they’re focusing their marketing dollars on videos that can be used on their websites and social media sites, as well as in the office. Here MOT talks with a number of professionals who have found success using video to market their practices and educate their patients.
“Video is an effective tool for education, promotion and motivation,” says Matthew Glasser, founder of Healthcare Heroes Media, a firm that creates videos for a variety of healthcare organizations. The Southern California-based company has produced national television shows that showcased a particular health system to “Get To Know Your Doctor” videos to visual discharge instructions and health education video toolkits.
“Whether it’s to raise money for the practice or organization, bring in new patients, retain existing patients or provide health education, we have found that video is one of the most powerful tools in the toolkit,” Glasser says.
Glasser points out that video is used widely in every other industry but healthcare. “While it’s slowly being adopted in some healthcare organizations, healthcare as an industry has been slow to adopt this powerful tool,” he says. “Visual storytelling has been used successfully to influence and change behavior for decades, and I believe that it should be used in healthcare to improve outcomes, reduce readmissions and help people manage their chronic conditions. I also believe it’s an effective business tool and a way for physicians and hospitals to differentiate themselves from competitors.”
Common types of video
Healthcare organizations use video in a variety of ways, but the most common types of video are:
• Doctor profiles
• Patient testimonials
• Topical/educational (e.g. diabetic wound care)
• Services and products specific to the practice
“If a picture shows a thousand words, then video shows a million,” says Sara Daly, a physical therapist and president of Waterfalls Day Spa in Middlebury, Vt. She recently filmed a video showing therapeutic massage for pregnant women. “Video makes your services real and it allows clients to relate,” she adds.
San Diego Fertility Center, for example, uses videos to highlight its physicians, provide patient testimonials and offer education on fertility-related subjects and procedures. The practice works with Corp Shorts, a Los Angeles-based company that provides video production services to medical practices and other healthcare organizations. The company has professional crews in more than 100 cities and is able film anywhere in the country.
“For those practices needing to provide their patients with introductions to their physicians, team or center, the overview video works great,” says Lisa Van Dolah, CEO & administrator for San Diego Fertility Center. “If there is specific content that differentiates the physician or center from the competition, video offers a much more convincing presentation that written text. If there are things that the office spends hours repeating, video review is a much easier way to have patients review content rather than having staff repeat the same content frequently.”
Video plays a key role for San Diego Fertility Center since it receives many calls from patients wanting to learn more about the practice and its physicians. “Directing them to our website where they feel they can meet the physicians and team is a very nice tool in converting these potential patients to real patients,” Van Dolah notes.
In fact, Van Dolah says the practice no longer conducts group education sessions, preferring to use video instead. “The videos on the website offer a great tool that complements the other marketing objectives,” she adds.
San Diego Fertility Center illustrates research that shows that people are 25 percent more likely to contact a company when it has informative videos on the website. The research, conducted by Forrester Research, indicates that videos tremendously boost conversion rates.
Central Massachusetts Podiatry PC has embraced video to improve patient education and enhance treatment. The practice’s director Dr. Neil Feldman captures and shares videos of his patients performing rehabilitation exercises and of his helpful instructions to them.
To ensure the video is in compliance with the HIPAA security rule, Dr. Feldman uses Postwire, a new application on his iPhone. Postwire enables medical practices and healthcare professionals to privately capture and share videos and other content with patients in a visual and secure way.
“Whether they are videos I have prepared to show a patient how to perform a specific home treatment or a video I have captured of my patient while he is doing exercises in the office, these have proven invaluable tools for use at home, so a patient can easily see the steps he can take to help himself,” he explains. “And I can post the videos to a secure site that only the patient will be able to access. It takes very little time and makes a big difference in patient care.”
How does video fits into overall marketing strategy?
Video can play a huge role in a practice's marketing efforts.
“People remember more than 50 percent of what they see and hear and only 10 percent of what they read, so video is an extremely important component of your overall marketing plan,” says Catherine Gray, CEO of Corp Shorts. “Videos make a medical practice more memorable, and they set a medical practice apart from competitors who do not use video. The fact that videos can be used in so many ways makes them a very strategic investment that is a necessary marketing tool to effectively grow your business.”