Case Study: How Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Physician Bios Came to Life

by Sara Foster | Apr 20, 2017

It can be difficult for patients to choose their physician from a hospital website.

That’s because after a while, they all sound the same.

They all went to medical school. They all got board certified. They all won some awards. But accolades and education don’t give a patient any indication of a doctor’s personality or bedside manner.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, part of Ascension, is trying to change all that. Since 2011, it started creating physician videos and so far, they’ve filmed more than 200. Their goal is to make videos for each of their physicians — about 1,000 in total. (See examples here, here and here).

According to Ascension Wisconsin’s marketing department (which oversees marketing for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare), doctors with a video get 2.5 more page views than those who don’t have one. In addition, the top 20 most-viewed doctor’s pages have a video.

“These videos really help patients because they can watch a video and see if they ‘click’ with a physician,” says Victoria Schmidt, internal communications specialist for Ascension Wisconsin. “That trust relationship is so important. If a patient likes a video and makes an appointment because of it, odds are the doctor will ‘click’ with the patient, too.”

Jaimie Somlai, senior director of digital marketing for Ascension Wisconsin, says a physician profile is essential for making a connection with a patient.

“Before, the questions we used to answer for patients were: ‘Is the doctor close by? Can they treat my conditions? Do they accept my insurance? What degree do they have?’ These are qualifying questions. But these videos answer patients’ more important selection questions by going deeper: “Will I like them? Do others trust them? Are they good at what they do?'"

The two shared some tips for interviewing camera-shy doctors:

  • Share an example of some sample videos beforehand.
  • Go over what you’re going to ask before you start filming.
  • Ask questions to the doctor like you’re talking to a friend. Be conversational.

Another added bonus the marketing team discovered from interviewing hundreds of physicians? Some are born marketers.

“It has been a great way for us to go out and meet our physicians,” Schmidt says. “For example, we met a cardiologist who is also a certified fitness trainer with eight children. She’s perfect for guest blogging and for future on-camera interviews.”

In addition to the videos, the marketing team added star ratings and comments from patients to their profiles. (Read more about that trend here.)

“As consumers are spending more out of their own pocket with high deductible plans, they’re demanding more value for their dollar,” Somlai says. “That’s why we decided to post patient reviews in addition to a physician’s video, so the patient can really make an informed decision.”
  • case studies
  • Hospital Marketing
  • HealthCare Digital Marketing
  • physician profiles

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