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TV network feeds national, MUSC
Enlightening patients and families to health information, MUSC services
and treatments drives a new hospital broadcast system that utilizes
large-screen high-definition (HD) TV sets mounted in many waiting areas.
The second floor
waiting areas of Hollings Cancer Center feature high-definition TVs
that broadcast MUSC health tips and information.
By the end of February, more than 70 of these HD TV sets had been
mounted on adult medical and surgical waiting room walls throughout
Rutledge Tower. The network of TVs broadcasts health programs fed by
AccentHealth (AH), a national health broadcasting system that features
CNN and Discovery Health features. Programming enables one-minute spots
that feature MUSC-specific health and treatment information, said Dave
Bennett, director, Web Development Services and program manager of the
In the near future, the service will be provided in other campus
ambulatory facilities including Ashley River Tower and to off-campus
MUSC facilities, he added.
“Part of our goal in partnering with AH is to provide health education
while entertaining and engaging our patients and visitors,” Bennett
AH programming has been shown in other MUSC practices, such as Carolina
Family Care, for years, but that programming format and infrastructure
will be upgraded to match the new digital format found in Rutledge
Tower, Bennett said.
Meanwhile, a similar internally developed system launched at Hollings
Cancer Center features information that was produced specifically by
and for MUSC, which features serene pastoral images and sound with
periodic information feeds about MUSC services and advisories. This
system is not a part of AH, but the MUSC information is managed jointly
by HCC and Marketing’s Web Resource Services.
The content presented in the AH system focuses on general medical and
wellness information, such as diet tips, allergies, colds and the flu.
“We might run a chiron (or crawl at the bottom of the screen) reminding
people to get their flu shot,” Bennett said. “We also would run
information about services available at MUSC, and we could actually
tailor that information based on the type of waiting room in which
people are sitting.”
For example, TVs in the Digestive Disease Center might feature
information on MUSC treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, or
information on clinical trials that are recruiting new patients.
“Our goal is to help better inform patients and visitors about MUSC’s
many services,” Bennett said. “These messages would be both public
service announcements because they provide health education, and
infomercials, because they direct people to services offered at MUSC.
“Most exciting is the ability for us to begin cross promoting our
services across the enterprise. For instance, many patients may not be
aware that we have an outpatient pharmacy where they can have their
prescriptions filled,” he said. “This system should allow us to better
cross market and inform consumers about these and other services.”
Some of the information would come in the form of advertising for such
products as diapers, pharmaceuticals or other services and products. AH
keeps the ad revenue, but the company maintains the hospital’s network
of TVs, which cost more than $300,000, and manages national broadcast
feeds. Under the agreement, AH will begin upgrading the equipment as
needed at no additional cost to MUSC, Bennett said.
“In the near future, we expect to be able to air information in the
form of infomercials related to our services and physicians similar to
that seen on TV in our area,” Bennett said. “Over the next few months,
hospital marketing will begin to formulate a plan for airing such
infomercials on the AccentHealth system. Their goal is to develop
content featuring our services and physicians that is related to the
service area in which the AH system in located.
“Marketing’s primary goal is to ensure the development of
high-quality content that is consistent with the MUSC image, and
provides us with the highest opportunity for cross-promotional
opportunities related to our clinical services,” Bennett said.
“Feedback on the content has been extremely positive and has been
well-received by patients and staff. We are excited about extending
this service to our large and growing ambulatory care patients and
Not all areas, including pediatric services, are candidates for the AH.
“For such areas, hospital marketing expects to work with key leadership
to ensure child-friendly programming,” Bennett said. “Until then, we
will continue to work closely with leadership creating solutions for
Registration staff will be oriented to the basic operation of the
To view a sample of the AccentHealth content, go to http://www.accenthealth.com/features/
For information on the new TV broadcast services, e-mail Bennett at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 792-9996.
Friday, Feb. 29, 2008
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