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Unscripted Doctors and Other Takeaways from "Boston Med"

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, August 4, 2010

Of course, I know that most hospitals will never be featured in a primetime slot on a major network, but "Boston Med"—and other hospital docu-series on cable stations such as Discovery Health—proves that a tactic as simple as letting the public see unscripted doctors interacting with each other can boost a hospital's reputation.

Rush University Medical Center uses this strategy in its "Rush Stories" campaign, which consists of several TV spots and a microsite that feature several members of a patient care team talking about a specific patient success story.

"We get a group of doctors and nurses together and have them tell us about the story and we'll wind up with two to four spots," says Lori Allen, associate vice president for marketing and communications at Rush. "They not only tell us the story but they also help us with what was special about that and what [would happen] if the patient had gone elsewhere or what if the patient hadn't ever looked into this."

The microsite, rushstories.org, features longer versions of the patient story videos for key service lines, such as neurology, cardiology, orthopedics, and oncology.

"Our brand is completely reality—it's not at all contrived and it's very distinctive," Allen says.

And if your brand can convince the community of that, it will stick with them.

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