Case study: Mayo Clinic patient Jayson Werth
In some cases, Mayo has been able to track the progression from these process metrics to bottom-line outcomes, such as unique patient visits and even registration or new appointments. "I like to call them biopsies," Aase says. Mayo will measure "track-throughs" of patients who viewed a video or page, clicked through to the hospital website, and requested an appointment. And with campaigns targeting certain conditions, Mayo will track the number of patients who come in for related treatments.
Jayson Werth, a professional baseball player, first came to Mayo Clinic to treat a wrist injury after he was struck by a pitch during a spring training game in 2005. Physicians determined that Werth suffered a split tear of his ulnotriquetal ligament (UT), an injury that often goes undiagnosed. Werth was treated by Richard Berger, an orthopedic surgeon, and after a successful recovery, was later signed by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Werth campaign by the numbers
2008: Mayo performs 22 UT split repairs
2009: Werth campaign launches, Mayo performs 20 UT split repairs
2010: Mayo performs 39 UT split repairs
Mayo Clinic saw an opportunity in November 2009, after the Phillies won the World Series, to tell Werth's story. They rolled out a social media campaign focused on wrist injuries, which included blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, and even hosted a @MayoClinic Twitter chat with Dr. Berger himself.
The procedure to do UT repairs was "relatively unknown" before that point, Aase says.
In 2009, Dr. Berger conducted 20 UT split repairs, followed by 39 procedures in 2010—almost a doubling of patient volume in the year following the Werth campaign, Aase told the Daily Briefing. It was "incredible to see this jump in procedures as a result, which translated into bottom-line financial benefits," he added.
Aase stressed that the campaign was an integrated communications strategy that involved both social media and traditional media relations. However, the "social media part was essential…from YouTube to our blogs to Twitter," he said.