How would you choose which hospital to have your life saving cardiac surgery at?

When the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire set out to promote their services within their specialist areas, they first needed to understand who their target audience was and then work out the best method of communication.

With help from Quiet Storm they established that they needed to target:

The referral source; this could be the patients GP or another medical professional who had discovered or confirmed the condition and would need to relay the options available to the patient.

The patient; as it was now their decision to make and finally those people closest to the patient.

The family or friend would of course want the best for the patient but also needed to understand the treatment process so that they could support and visit the patient throughout the trauma.

The key messages which needed to be communicated were the excellent facilities, experienced specialists within the treatment teams and success in the specific treatment. However as you can imagine each target audience or group required a different language to convey the benefits specific to their main concerns. The delivery of the message was critical in effecting this.

The referral source would fully understand the condition prescribed and have a good understanding of the treatment options available. They would need to advise the patient on what they thought were the most relevant criteria for them to select the appropriate hospital for treatment. Understanding that the healthcare professional would have only limited time to convey this critical information to the patient it was decided that the best approach was to provide a brochure which outlined the key messages and could be used as a queue card to deliver this information.

In addition a DVD was provided which went into all aspects of the treatment and facilities available at the University Hospitals of Coventry & Warwickshire. It showed the whole process, including operation footage; the environment in which the treatment would be delivered; plus interviews with key staff and patients at the hospital who were having or had received treatment.

It covered all key questions the patient was likely to have plus some they may not have thought of until during the treatment itself; these were based upon the experiences of the patients who had received the treatment.

Finally it provided testimonials from patients, family and friends going through the treatment, recovering and those who had recovered.

The benefit of using video as a tool was that the environment and the people were not alien to the prospective patient; the experiences of those who had received treatment were a powerful endorsement possibly more so than anything the referral source could communicate within the limited period they had with their patient. The DVD also helped the patient communicate their condition to those who would ultimately support them through their treatment and whose experience may be every bit as traumatic.

“The information packs created and produced by Quiet Storm have been well received by both the medical professionals and the patients they referred to our specialist units.

The format of brochure and DVD has been a tremendous aid in the communication of the complexities of some of our procedures. It has helped patients understand the risks, treatments and logistics of the operations they face.

The information packs have helped to take away some of the mystery behind the medical jargon and helped the patients make a more informed decision on where they wanted to be treated and why.”

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