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In search of patient stories

Patient testimonials are great for telling your brand's unique stories. Audiences love to read about real people who overcame a health challenge. In doing so, they learn about your providers and services.

Powerful testimonials are out there. But where? Three Coffey clients share how they find patients for great testimonials.

Check with your providers

At Lake Charles Memorial Health System, clinicians are a top source. "They know the patients; they've spent time with them," says Allie Livingston, communications manager. Providers typically don't view their patients through a marketing lens. If you describe the kinds of stories you're looking for, it helps providers recognize a great story.

"That happened recently," Livingston says. "We'd done some cardiology patient testimonials. A few weeks later, another situation came up, and another member of our staff reached out to us versus us having to reach out to their department."

Share the why behind the ask

Your clinical staff may be willing to connect you with a patient when they understand the value of storytelling.

"We need to tell these stories not for the sake of marketing, but more for the sake of helping other potential patients," Livingston says. "We want to share with our community what kind of care they can receive."

Testimonials also show that you value your providers by sharing how they positively affect patients' lives.

Reach out to your community

Southeast Georgia Health System's website includes a "Share a Compliment" page where patients and their families can tell their stories.

"The form also includes a section where the patient or family member can give us permission to contact them or give us permission to share their appreciation with our leadership and team members," says Laura Young, director of marketing and public relations.

Young's team also finds testimonials while out in the community and from providers whose patients want to share their experiences.

That's another powerful thing about testimonials. For many patients, sharing their story is part of the healing process, says Lanie Abbott, director of communications and experience at Northern Light Beacon Health.

Work your beat

Ultimately, you have to build relationships with the people who know patients, Livingston says.

Abbott agrees:

"Relationships are everything," she says. "You have to get out there, build trust and spend time getting to know people."