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My Interview with Chris Boyer on the Growing Role of Physician Video

Posted Feb 04 2013 5:52am

I recently interviewed Chris Boyer, prior to his departure from Inova Health System, about the growing role of physician video in healthcare marketing and consumer engagement. (Until a month ago, Chris was the Director of Digital Marketing & Communications at Inova Health System.) This interview was for an article I was writing for the February 2103 issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends. Much of the interview will not make its way into the article, so I thought I would share the transcript of the interview here. Enjoy!

Q1: What value does Inova place on the production and deployment of physician videos?

CB: Inova places high importance on the production and use of physician videos, ensuring that patients and other referring physicians can find them easily on our website and online physician directory.

Q2: In what ways does Inova currently use physician videos?

CB: We currently have a library of approximately 300 physician videos: some feature our doctors talking about the particular medical treatment or procedure they specialize in, others highlight doctors with patient testimonials and – becoming ever more important – we are now creating a number of 30-60 second physician introductions. All physician videos are not only placed on our website, but they are also featured on our YouTube page and our online newsroom blog.

Q3: Do you have any evidence that physician videos pay a dividend for the health system? Additionally, what are the benefits of making physician videos available online?

CB: We have measured the number of views of the videos online and have found not only are they the top watched videos, they also have a number of click-throughs to our website. So, from a behavioral perspective, we know patients do use them. We have also heard anecdotal stories from key surgeons that our videos have helped patients choose their care with Inova.

Q4: Does Inova have plans to add physician videos to the physician profiles within the “Find a Doctor” section of the website?

CB: Yes, we just launched this very change to our Find a Doctor site this week. Initially, we are including physician bio videos for our employed physicians, but plan to roll out this service strategically over the rest of our physician community.

Q5: What is the value in moving to video over the traditional bio paired with a static image of the doc?

CB: We have evidence to support that patients, family members and other referring doctors find value in physician videos. Videos allow doctors to introduce themselves and their expertise in a way static photos can never provide – they can provide an emotional connectedness.

Q6: What are the challenges? For example, is it realistic to expect a system like Inova to be able to provide video of each of its physicians?

CB: Creating physician videos can be difficult for any sized hospital system. As many things related to physician communications and relationships, offering the opportunity to film physicians can be fraught with poliitical ramifications – do we only shoot employed doctors? What are the STARK implications? etc. In addition, scheduling doctors to shoot videos can be very difficult (particularly since many physicians are focused on delivering care). Lastly, another big challenge is how doctors should present themselves on video – many physicians tend to become cold and clinical behind the camera. Good video producers need to work with doctors on developing a friendlier and relaxed tone when being filmed.

Many larger health system marketing teams already should have a strategic approach to content creation. Essential to any content marketing strategy is the creation of videos. In this day and age, with the prevalence of online videos – and expectation of most consumers to have an opportunity to watch videos – it is reasonable to expect many hospitals to invest in a video strategy.

Q7: How do you see the use of physician video evolving in the future?

CB: I think that online content – on website, social media and mobile devices – is moving more and more to embrace and offer multiple mediums. Hospital webpages will evolve to become as interactive and robust as, say, CNN.com and Facebook – offer options for content consumption (video, text, audio), and providing multi-media content that compliments other content. Patients already expect this – hospital website will evolve to meet the needs of our patients.


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