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Video Channels on YouTube, A New Marketing Opportunity for Hospitals

Posted Aug 19 2009 6:20pm

Posting short digital videos on the web provides a new opportunity for hospitals to market themselves. Digital videos can also be used to distribute new knowledge from medical conferences to non-registrants following the event (see: A New Model for Medical Conferences: Broad Choices and No Waiting ). Providing access to digital videos has now gotten easier by the use of YouTube channels. A recent article provides guidance about this process (see: Customize Your YouTube Channel ). Below is a brief excerpt from it:

YouTube recently redesigned channel pages to make them more dynamic and easier to customize. The beta channels are now a hodgepodge of your uploads, favorites, playlists, and numerous in-channel editing options. Should you upgrade to the new design, you have a greater chance of creating an eye-catching channel that’s likely to keep your viewers engaged for longer. YouTube originally made the redesigned channels available to a select group of elite members and new users. Now however, the video site is letting anyone upgrade their channel, and eventually they’ll be moving all remaining channels over to the new version.

As one example of how YouTube can be used to market hospitals and health systems, take a look at the Mayo Clinic channel. This link also allows you to subscribe to the channel. The Mayo videos posted on the site address a broad array of medical and consumer education topics such as smoking cessation, vertebroplasty, and sponge-counting. Interestingly enough, a video on partial knee replacement is labeled as a "promoted video" which I think is synonymous with an advertisement. As far as I can tell, it's not unlike any of the other videos which provide health information with a soft-sell for Mayo.

One of the videos that caught my eye addresses the Mayo integrated care model ( Integrated care for cancer patients ), which is much in the news these days in the context of healthcare reform. This presentation was interesting to me for a couple of reasons. The first is its production values -- a tight shot of a Mayo physician speaking directly to the camera. On the face of it, it should be boring and unconvincing but it works because of the poise and sincerity of the speaker. Secondly, I strongly believe in the concept of integrated cross-disciplinary care and have raised the idea in connection with multi-disciplinary teams (see: The Value of "One-Stop" Breast Cancer Clinics Confirmed in the U.K. ) and integrated diagnostics (see: More on Integrated Diagnostic Centers; Trend or Lukewarm Idea? ).

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