Connecting with Your Audience on an Emotional Level with Patient Stories

By: Chris Thompson on October 4, 2017 Categories: Content Marketing, Corporate Communications, Healthcare
Patient Stories Blog Image V2

One of the goals of marketing and content creation for a healthcare audience is to bring new patients into your healthcare practice. A good way to do this is to connect with your audience on an emotional level. And often the best way to do that is to utilize patient stories.
Patients want to hear about their condition from people who have gone through the same thing themselves, and not just from clinical experts.

Your pediatrician can wax poetic about the virtue of flu shots, but hearing from a mother whose child was hospitalized due to the flu will impact your audience more.

You may have a new procedure that your physicians promise is faster and easier than the previous one, but patients are more likely to sign up once they hear anecdotal stories from those who have been through it themselves.

Patient stories can be used in across a variety of mediums including:

  • Facebook posts, including picture posts and live videos
  • Blogs – write articles including your patient’s story, or even ask them to write a first-person narrative as a guest blogger
  • Videos – produce high-quality visual patient stories that you can feature across all your marketing platforms
  • Press pitches

Get permission first

Of course with patient stories, you need to make sure you are vigilant about protecting PHI (Protected Health Care Information). In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits the use of any identifying patient information (including names, images, dates, locations treated, and more) without first obtaining their permission.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a guide for those who need to brush up on what is permissible under HIPPA on its website.

Once you have a patient who is willing to share their story, you must first obtain written authorization to utilize it publicly.

Keep track of it…securely

You can use a Content Marketing Platform like Mintent to get the most visibility and use out of your patient stories in a variety of ways.

Here’s how such a tool can help:

  • Use the editorial calendar to plan out your social media and blog posts, along with web updates, video storyboards and scripts, and press pitches.
  • Once you’ve put your plan in place, you can use our workflows to assign projects to your team members. Then, once your content draft is complete,  a notification will be sent to the next person who is responsible for editing or approval.
  • Once your message has been pushed out to the community, you’ll be able to track the success of your campaign to see which posts were most successful.

If you manage a team that is responsible for interacting with patients and gathering their stories, it’s important for you as a leader to make sure that your team is gaining HIPPA authorization before you approve any content for publication.

Mintent has a secure content asset library within the platform, which enables your team to assign you a review task as part of their editorial process.

A key component in maintaining security over PHI is to make sure only those that need patient information can view it. You can set special permissions within the Mintent tool so that only those you choose can access certain content.

You can also store your interview notes for patient stories for later use if the topic is slated for your editorial calendar again. Something that isn’t used in one story may be helpful in another.

Spread their story

Once you have finalized your patient privacy waivers and have crafted their stories into a compelling content asset– it’s time to share it with your audience.

Through Mintent, you can post to Facebook, publish your blog, update your website and Tweet out your story. All from one location, so you don’t need to log into multiple places. You can also schedule the messaging to go out sporadically, so you don’t bombard your audience and negate your message.

Patient stories are a key element of healthcare marketing, and Mintent helps you plan, produce, protect and publish your patient stories all from one place.

You can try it out yourself with our free trial!