Webcasted Surgeries, ER Tweets May Be USEful Marketing Tools, But Raise Other Questions
A hospital in Memphis, Tenn., is using a Webcast of a recent awake craniotomy, a type of brain surgery, to market its neuroscience institute, the New York Times reports. The 51-minute video and a preview available on YouTube have drawn more than 23,000 viewers, three of whom requested appointments, the Methodist University Hospital's marketing department told the Times. YouTube videos and even Twitter feeds are emerging from other operating rooms as competition between hospitals heats up in "an era of reality TV and voluminous medical information available online."
While the marketers argue that the advertising is meant to educate the public and promote the hospital's quality, one bioethicist asked whether "we really want to treat health care like other consumer goods," the Times reports. The bioethicist, Jeffrey Kahn, said the marketing materials create "'an aura of sophistication and high-tech ability' that may not represent 'quality of care at a hospital,'" the Times reports (Belluck, 5/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.