3. Filter complex technical information
So how technical did Southwest General's and Peninsula's advertising get? Well, it depends where you looked. But both hospitals maintain that the true source of surgical information should be a patient's personal doctor.
"The intent of our marketing is to provide an introduction to the public to educate them about the technology and the availability of the technology in a community-based hospital setting—no need to travel farther distances to an academic medical center outside of the geography where they are comfortable," says Matyas.
"Proximity, coupled with experienced surgeons at the controls, is a powerful message."
Matyas also says that providing additional information through third-party websites, such as WebMD and ADAM, is acceptable and "allows consumers to investigate the technology further and form a more complete understanding of the technology. Questions that arise from their own investigating can then be a base for discussion with their surgeon."