Video Profiles Help Patients, Doctors Connect

DavePowersBy Dave Powers

The average patient would jump at the opportunity to interview a doctor before choosing to see them in their clinic. I’m kind of lucky. I’ve interviewed more than 400 Rush University Medical Center physicians — and counting.

My company has been contracted by Rush to produce the profile videos that accompany each physician’s Find-a-Doctor online profile. The goal of these videos is to help prospective patients find the doctor who’s right for them by bringing each physician’s credentials and personality to life.

Almost three months after we started this project, my mother emailed me — and my brother and sister — with the kind of news you never want to hear. My father was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer.

Since my parents don’t live in Chicago, I quickly started looking at websites of hospitals in their city. I wanted more information about treating the disease, and — more than anything — I really wanted to see if any of the hospitals had physician profile videos that were similar to the ones we were producing for Rush. Fortunately, one hospital did — and surprisingly they had more videos from urologists than most other specialties (and actually only a handful of the specialties at this hospital even had doctors with videos). I read through the profiles of all of the urologists, but felt more drawn to the ones that included videos. I called my parents and asked them to look at all of these urologists’ profiles.

Two weeks later, I went down to visit my parents. My father was planning to get an initial opinion about treatment from a doctor at the hospital that diagnosed the cancer — a different hospital than the one with the urologist videos. During my visit, I encouraged him to get a second opinion and asked if we could review the profiles of the urologists from the hospital with the video presence. He obliged.

When my mother, father and I gathered around his laptop in their living room and viewed each urologist’s profile, we were all drawn to the physicians with videos. After some discussion, my father chose a doctor — not the one with the friendliest personality but the one who talked about a cutting edge treatment my father felt relatively comfortable with. He felt more prepared and informed for his first visit with him having watched the video several times.

Nearly two years later, my father is still seeing the urologist whom he chose based on his video and online profile. His prostate cancer hasn’t spread enough yet to warrant treatment, but it’s being monitored regularly. Though I’ve never been to a urologist appointment with my father, I feel more connected to the updates about his disease because I’ve viewed his physician’s online profile video a handful of times.

Physician profile videos are comforting to patients, their families and friends, and Rush University Medical Center may understand that better than any hospital in the country. With nearly 400 physicians participating from more than 70 specialties, the video component of Rush’s Find-a-Doctor tool is quite robust. I am privileged and fortunate to be working on a project that has the potential to be so valuable to so many people.

If you have found the Find-a-Doctor tool to be valuable to you, please share some of your insights by filling out our survey.

Dave Powers is video production supervisor with Rush Powers Media.

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