I am probably incriminating myself by admitting I watch the occasional YouTube video while at work, but one day I was prompted after hearing about a children’s hospital video that went “viral” featuring the staff and kids of the hospital singing a Katy Perry song.

You know what the problem with YouTube videos is? You can’t just watch one.  On the webpage side bar, I saw a music video created by VCU Children’s hospital also featuring a Katy Perry video. I clicked on VCU’s YouTube channel and discovered a plethora of fantastic videos, such as a well-produced video on all of VCU’s accomplishments set as a poetic roundup form.

The Grady Health Foundation has an impressive campaign about the importance of Grady narrated by a very familiar voice (Samuel L. Jackson) with the tag line “Atlanta can’t live without Grady, Grady can’t live without You” not to mention there is a great cameo of our good friend Dr. Leon Haley, board member of the Essential Hospitals Institute! Grady Health  has  a series of compelling patient stories, and one in particular is the incredibly heart wrenching  story of Mason, a little boy who was severely burned by a pot of boiling soup and, after staying at Grady for a month, he is back to being an active little boy.

At MetroHealth in Cleveland, they also feature a series of amazing patient stories but have cleverly tagged themselves as the proud sponsor of the comeback.

Several years ago, Henry Ford Health System in Detroit  held a hand-washing promotion video contest to encourage hand washing compliance among their employees and created such hits as “ I Wanna Wash My Hands” and The Henry Ford Hand Washing Family.

At LAC+USC, the residents created a “comic book” tour of the department of emergency medicine, Harris Health has a music video to Pharell Williams’ catchy song “ Happy,”  and UAB has an impressive rap of all of their services with about 44,000 views!

All of these hospitals and many more essential hospitals have found ways to creatively tell stories, provide public health services, or demonstrate all that they offer to the community.YouTube videos are shared through Facebook, Twitter, email forwards, and are even spotlighted on national television.

In Washington, we often find that sharing a story is the best way to develop a relationship. It is one of the few times that you aren’t asking for anything, rather it is an opportunity to connect your hospital to a stakeholder whether it be a member of Congress or your community at large.

YouTube is an easily accessible medium that is a great way to tell the story of your hospital – have you tried it? Share your favorite videos from essential hospitals with us!