Let Your Patient's Stories Tell Yours
Whether it’s funny, dramatic, sad, or uplifting, people love a good healthcare story, and the real-life ones are just as compelling — if not more so — than the ones we watch when we stream our favorite shows.
In fact, more and more healthcare organizations are using high-quality, compelling patient stories to highlight extraordinary cases and situations from the unique perspective of patients and staff and deliver marketing messages in an engaging way.
These stories bring hospital services to life and make them relatable. And, even better, the stories can be repurposed for the web, magazines, even annual reports.
Why Patient Stories Work
One of the main reasons patient stories are so effective is because the human brain is hardwired to be receptive to storytelling. According to an article on Forbes.com, brand storytelling engages a variety of areas in your brain — including the parts of your brain that would activate during the actual experience described in the story. This means that your consumers are more likely to accurately remember details and are more likely to relate to the story on a personal level.
Many patient stories also have the built-in advantage of being able to strike an emotional chord with healthcare consumers. Everyone has experienced a health event or has needed healthcare services at one time or another, whether it was for themselves or a loved one.
How Patient Stories Can Help
Perhaps one of the best things about patient stories is that they allow your organization to achieve its marketing objectives in a subtle-but-honest, way. Through storytelling, your organization can establish itself in a favorable light and guide healthcare consumers to form their own positive conclusions — without giving away the “punch line,” so to speak.
This patient story, for example, highlights the excellence and continuum of care that is provided through a partnership between Cedars-Sinai and Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s heart failure program.
A well-crafted patient story can provide many other benefits for your healthcare organization, including:
1- Showcasing your brand’s personality.
Patient stories are the ideal platform for showcasing the personality of your providers and your brand. By blending the experience of your patients with the perspectives of your providers, your organization can show healthcare consumers what it means to receive care at your healthcare organization.
Patient stories also send the message that your organization respects and cares about its patients. By interviewing and including comments from providers involved in the care of individual patients, your organization can communicate that providers are invested in each outcome and treat patients as individuals — not as statistics.
2- Establishing the expertise and authority of your providers.
Your healthcare organization and its providers do amazing things every day — and patient stories are expertise of your providers and establish them as leaders in their field. From providing life-saving care to performing innovative research, patient stories let your consumers know that your organization is equipped to meet their needs for excellent care.
This patient story tells a miraculous story while highlighting the life-saving care provided by the trauma and cardiovascular teams at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
3- Promoting services.
Has your organization started offering a new treatment or service? Is there a particular service line or specialist you’d like to highlight? Want to share something amazing or groundbreaking? Your organization can use a well-executed patient story to draw attention to these areas. And, patient stories are versatile and can be easily re-purposed to fulfill a variety of marketing needs.
In addition to promoting your services, patient stories also can illustrate the impact that your organization’s care has on your patients’ lives. Including information on non-clinical benefits — such as improved quality of life, more time with family, and the ability to achieve dreams and goals —can help your healthcare consumers see beyond the clinical outcomes and recognize the life-changing effects of your organization’s services.
4- Building trust.
A quality patient story also allows your healthcare consumers to connect with your organization on a personal and emotional level — and encourages consumers to get to know your providers and your healthcare organization.
By allowing your consumers to get to know your organization and become more familiar with the caliber of care that your organization provides, they will be more likely to choose your organization for their future healthcare needs — and maybe even retell your story or recommend your organization to their friends and family members.
5- Educating and inspiring consumers.
Patient stories can evoke strong feelings in your consumers that can motivate and inspire them to make healthy lifestyle changes, seek medical care, or encourage a loved one to get help. That’s because healthcare consumers are more likely to identify with a story about someone else who is in a similar situation or has a similar health concern. Because storytelling is more engaging than facts, advice, or instructions, patient stories are more likely to encourage your consumers to act and make lasting behavior changes.
Storytelling in healthcare marketing is an underutilized resource. While other healthcare organizations are busy providing statistics, study results, facts, and advice, your healthcare organization can stand out from the crowd by crafting patient stories that include similar information in a more engaging package.
For more information about how Pulse Content can help you create patient stories that support your organization’s marketing objectives, contact us today at or