This time, Methodist did not use billboards as it has with other operations, deeming this procedure too sensitive. But its marketing department monitors how many people have watched the Webcast (2,212), seen a preview on YouTube (21,555) and requested appointments (3).
“The goal is to further our reputation as well as to educate the community, who will ask their physicians about our care,” said Jill Fazakerly, Methodist’s marketing director.
Faced with economic pressures and patients with abundant choices, hospitals are using unconventional, even audacious, ways of connecting directly with the public. Seeking to attract or educate patients, entice donors, gain recognition and recruit or retain top doctors, hospitals are using Twitter from operating rooms, showing surgery on YouTube and having patients blog about their procedures.They consider the methods inexpensive ways to stand out in an era of reality TV and voluminous medical information available online.