How healthcare video stories change patients’ lives
Increasingly, healthcare providers are turning to video storytelling to help communicate a value, concept, or a point of view. A healthcare system which includes a human-focused treatment plan and performance data have proven to be extremely effective. The reason is that a rational argument with data and charts is often not as compelling as a well told story. As digital storytellers it is our job to take a set of data and experiences and weave them into a story. The cameras, lights, and cinematic filming are just our tools to help explain a perspective or a principle. We’ve worked with several healthcare organizations and have seen first-hand how physicians, clinicians, and managers are inspired to improve the patient experience through storytelling.
In her book, “Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results”, Lori Silverman explains how “Stories have the ability to connect with people physically, cognitively, emotionally and through the human spirit”. Many healthcare executives and managers are investing in initiatives and healthcare marketing to stress the importance of storytelling to improve the patient experience.
Ideas and examples to share healthcare video stories across organizations
Once it is understood which key components make a video production and storytelling effective, then ideas and concepts for video story content are only limited by your imagination.
Here at eTown Videos, we have produced many videos for healthcare organizations using both animation and live action productions to share stories through the organizations’ intranet portals. The provider and patient feedback confirmed that both patient care and health literacy is significantly enhanced with effective video stories.
There are many creative examples of how providers utilized videos to share patient stories. Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital was inspired by the movie “When Harry Met Sally” by having the physician and patient sit next to each other on a couch. On camera, they share with the audience how their patient-provider relationship started and how it evolved over time. Off camera, an interviewer asked questions like “When did you first meet?”, “Did you have any concerns?”, “What do you appreciate most about the patient-provider relationship?” The goal of these “love story” videos was to illustrate that the patient-provider relationship is indeed caring and loving..
Connecting to the original inspiration
Knowing each other’s story is also a powerful way to nurture connections among executives, clinicians, and team members. Northwell Health System in New York uses storytelling videos among its leadership to help remind them why they originally entered the healthcare industry. The experience of the story sharing proved to be a powerful and meaningful way of deepening the connection among team members.
Sharing exceptional patient care video stories
At Adventist Health System, care team members are encouraged to share exceptional patient video stories through their intranet portal. At their annual summit, the top video story is awarded a prize. This provides the care provider with the opportunity to engage in friendly competition.
The point of the examples is that behind every set of data is a story. We can find the stories that make a difference every day in healthcare, and it is important that they are told. Storytelling through effective video production has real health benefits because they motivate and inspire people to make better health choices. Stories are how we make sense of the world, stories inspire and they motivate patients to make the right choices.
How do you tell healthcare video stories effectively? Why are they so effective?
The business case for video story productions is quite compelling when combined with performance data. But how do we create an emotional story that people will relate to and want to engage with? How do we inspire, motivate, and change minds through video storytelling?
We are drawn to emotional stories with emotional appeal
Standford research studies have shown that the brain prefers a story vs. straight data. In fact, the retention rate increases from 5-10 percent to 65-70% when the data is wrapped into an emotional story. I am reminded of what the master storyteller, Maya Angelou famously said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Emotional stories have four key components
People: Always lead with people, someone who overcomes obstacles. An individual that embodies your organization’s purpose.
Why: Your “why” is the second key component, this is what lets people remember your message.
Story points: Story points mean engagement. The most basic story points build an emotional arc from beginning, middle, to end. Here at eTown Videos our story points consist of six important milestones. These milestone markers are the building blocks of each story. I will be elaborating on these key story points in an upcoming blog as they require a closer look.
Locations: Set location gives the story authenticity. This is how we visually communicate the story points. Unexpected places usually draw the viewer deeper into the story.
These four foundational components must be included in each story to inspire change. Developing this foundation requires a lof video pre-production work but the final result is well worth the additional effort.
While data is critical and will continue to revolutionize how patient care is delivered, that data needs context. Inspiring storytelling is that context. Healthcare stories are frequently told and retold and are powerful and effective change motivators. Exceptional patient care stories rejuvenate care providers, instill pride in the organization
If you and your organization would like to explore the concept of video storytelling feel free to reach out to us. Consider making video storytelling an integral part of your educational and marketing campaign. Let eTown Videos help you grow by telling your empowering stories through video.