July 21, 2006

Patients’ stories come alive on Web

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Vanderbilt patients talk about their care experiences in a new internet-based campaign. To view the stories go to www.vanderbiltstories.com.

Patients’ stories come alive on Web

While the television commercials won't begin airing until later this summer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center's new advertising campaign is already well under way.

“Our Stories” is the name given to a new internet-based series featuring patients talking about their experiences at Vanderbilt. The initial 16 stories cover a variety of situations, including families coping with the shock and confusion of traumatic accidents, patients facing critical surgical procedures and families determining the best way to manage a loved one's longterm health-related condition.

To view the stories, go to www.vanderbiltstories.com. There is also a link on the Medical Center home page, www.mc.vanderbilt.edu.

The Web-based series is one phase of the Medical Center's new multi-media advertising campaign designed to both maintain and strengthen VUMC's position as the dominant provider of health care services in the region. Television, radio and print ads are other components of the campaign, which seeks to personalize the message VUMC is sending to its consumers.

By focusing on people — patients, families and the people at Vanderbilt who care for them — the series is a prime example of the principles of elevate in action, said Jill Austin, chief marketing officer.

“This is a new way for us to speak to our customers. The stories really highlight, in a compelling and emotional way, the relationships between the patients and the care team here, and they show the extraordinary lengths Vanderbilt's doctors, nurses and care givers often go to help people,” she said.

“Watching these makes you proud to work here and helps you to remember the many things Vanderbilt does for people. These stories are examples of what goes on here every day, and that's what this series is all about — we couldn't present these if the people here weren't delivering this level of dedicated care,” Austin said.

Each of the first 16 patients profiled were sent links to their stories and encouraged to share them with others who they felt might benefit from learning more about their situations. Those people, in turn, are sharing the stories with others, to the point that the series has become an electronic grassroots campaign of sorts, generating several thousand hits in just a few weeks.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to view the series and forward the stories on to those they believe might benefit from viewing them.

The series itself will continue for some time, with new stories being added periodically, Austin said.

Employees with story ideas should e-mail them to mystory@vanderbilt.edu.