Picture This: Some Options For Telling The Story Of Your Hospital
A hospital is an interesting place where rules, regulations, people, personalities, conditions, treatments and commerce all twist, turn, intersect, and overlap in ways that could probably best be depicted by a Salvador Dalí painting. This all came to a head for me, ironically, during one of my walks down a hallway near the main entrance that featured a large amount of framed art. No Dalís were on the walls, but there sure were a lot of paintings and photographs. And they were for sale.
While I have a fondness for turtles (having graduated from the University of Maryland), I kept thinking to myself as I saw the three-figure price tag of a beautiful framed picture of an underwater sea turtle, "Couldn't this highly trafficked space be put to better use?"
I thought a lot about who walks through this corridor. I thought about how many of them probably don't see a doctor as frequently as they should to receive proper, reliable, health information that could save their lives. I also thought about how they want to be reassured that the hospital they're visiting, either for their own treatment or to visit loved ones, is vibrant, informed and involved.
Instead of these for-sale framed pictures on the wall, I imagined this hospital using some of the space to mount a few flat-screen monitors with compelling questions, information, and spotlights on what makes them unique.
There's so much that could be presented to this audience! Just off the top of my head:
- Stats on what conditions/injuries they treat the most
- Success stories featuring patients with those conditions
- Myth-busting "Did you know?" items
- Performance-improvement initiatives
- Shuttle (insert bus) information
- References to community programs
- Reminders to get screened for (insert condition here)
- Medical news -- Reinforcing that your hospital is up on the latest developments is quite re-assuring to patients.
- Upcoming events
- Volunteer information
- Employment opportunities (with short URLs) for more information
- Curated references to the hospital or its staff on other sites (Yelp, FourSquare, Twitter, blogs, newspapers)
- "Get to know our medical team" references with both clinical credentials and fun personal information. (On a side note, it's been a dream of mine to weave things like Pandora Radio bookmarked songs into doctor profiles.)
- Reminders to check the expiration dates on prescriptions and to keep prescriptions safe from small children
... and I haven't even mentioned the hospital's missed opportunity to showcase its own web site and social media presence! What better way to increase your totals of engaged Facebook fans than by showing actual wall posts from the hospital and others to people currently in your hospital?
Every hospital has a lot going on. They often make proclamations in their mission statements about being a public service. So why not take the next step and highlight how your hospital is making good on that mission?