Consumer Engagement Via Online Physician Videos – Going Way Beyond the Mundane
by Dan Dunlop
In 2010 several hospitals and health systems made news by pioneering “speed-dating” events, where prospective patients could meet physicians in five-minute intervals in the hope that this brief introduction might spark a future relationship. This development created a furor among some healthcare professionals who felt that these speed-dating events were beneath the medical profession. However, this trend pointed out the clear desire on the part of consumers to have a better feel for a physician before they make a selection. Even in a five-minute exchange, a consumer can get a sense of the physician’s character and approach to patient care. This option had to be an improvement over the prevailing method for reviewing physicians online – the hospital’s physician finder.
The vast majority of online physician finders offer healthcare consumers a less than fulfilling experience. A physician profile typically consists of a head-and-shoulders photo of the doctor and a few bullet points that summarize the physician’s education, training, and language proficiency. Within the industry, it is uncommon to find professional profiles that address the physician’s philosophy of care or personality. There is very little in the typical online profile to help the prospective patient make a personal connection. That begs the question: How can organizations develop physician profiles that engage prospective patients on a more human and emotional level?