Confusing jargon & mind-numbing
data points blanket healthcare news today, especially with aspects
of healthcare reform dominating media coverage. For those who want
to keep the focus on patients & mission, storytelling is
valuable, emerging alternative tactic that healthcare institutions
are deploying effectively to reinforce messages and create
engagement with key audiences.
On February 23, SM& SVPs Michal Regunberg and Ed
Cafasso conducted a webinar explaining the value of
storytelling and how healthcare institutions can do it
successfully. The webinar, Awakening Your Inner Storyteller,
was hosted by the New England Society of Healthcare
Communications and provided listeners tips to get healthcare
institutions away from charts and acronyms by putting caregiver and
patient stories online, on film, blogs and Facebook.
Some of the tips Michal and Ed shared
with webinar participants include:
- Harvest stories by going straight to
the source: caregivers and patients
- Create a storytelling toolkit for
caregivers that provides instructions on how to recognize patient
and caregiver stories from patients. Don't forget to include
examples of good stories
- Ask for patients, patient families
and caregivers to submit stories to the institution's website,
blog, Facebook wall and other channels
- Be strategic. Highlight evocative
stories that reflect key messages, values and medical initiatives
for your institution
- Leverage social media to promote
engagement with your stories
- HIPAA concerns can be overcome.
Great stories can be told, especially if you focus on patients and
caregivers who volunteer them and you provide those involved with
clear information and instructions
- For examples of storytelling, check
out the Mayo Clinic's YouTube page, Pulse
Magazine's blog and one of many Facebook pages from Children's Hospital Boston.
Recent research demonstrates that
patients, families and family caregivers are already online
searching for healthcare information and advice. Increasingly,
research shows, they are relying on personal, online stories - also
known as "peer-to-peer healthcare" - to help them in medical
decision-making. Hospitals and healthcare institutions have a
unique, emerging opportunity to create personal connections,
showcase care and spotlight caregivers.
To hear more about engagement
strategies from the experienced healthcare communicators, follow @healthbostonpr.