July 25, 2008

Internet Video Revolution - Sutter Health Harnesses Power of Web 2.0 to Inform Customers

Are you an e-patient? Studies show that 80 percent of American Internet users go online for health information. Thanks to Web 2.0, e-patients now have even more ways to share personal health experiences, shop for health care and learn about advanced medical technologies. Go to and you'll see one of the ways Sutter Health is transforming how it communicates with patients through its interactive online "Report to Our Communities."

"Having a fully online annual report isn't yet a trend in health care, but digital information certainly is a trend and it makes sense for organizations to adapt to how people receive information today," said Pat Fry, Sutter Health president and CEO. "This is more than a digital brochure; it's an interactive experience that allows visitors to view information about Sutter Health when and how they want it."

A key feature of Sutter Health's "Report to Our Communities" is a series of compelling video stories of patients, community partners and employees. It also includes interactive Web pages where visitors can view Sutter Health's advancements in clinical quality and patient safety, charity care and community partnerships, as well as financial information and vital statistics.

The demand for relevant and newsworthy Web 2.0 content is skyrocketing; YouTube and other video sharing sites are revolutionizing the way people seek and receive information online. According to the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of adult Internet users watch online videos.

"Sutter Health's online videos allow visitors to see firsthand, through an entertaining format, how our focus on quality, investment in patient safety and dedication to convenient access truly benefit our patients and communities," added Fry. "Traditional paper annual reports also consume tens of thousands of sheets of paper. Our online approach conserves natural resources and has helped us to preserve nearly a dozen trees."

Here's a snapshot of what you can see at http://SutterHealth.org/annualreport:

Life Saving EHR Technology

Julie's story -- "Sutter's EHR saved my life."

Julie Alvarez was getting a routine physical before her scheduled back surgery when an alert popped up on her electronic health record (EHR) -- she was due for her first mammogram. Although eager to get her back surgery done, she made an appointment for the screening. The mammogram results were stunning -- Julie had breast cancer. Watch Julie's story ().

Convenient Access to Quality Care

Joan's story -- "I can't think of anything else, except hip-hip hurrah for this place."

Joan Amen has lived in Stockton her entire life. As she aged, she developed numerous health problems, and now requires frequent monitoring and blood tests. For years, Joan and her daughter, who is her primary caregiver, would drive to multiple health care offices around town to get her tests done. It was an exhausting routine that Joan is now able to leave behind. Her routine has changed for better thanks to Sutter Health and the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. Watch Joan's story ().

Caring for the Uninsured

Norma's story -- "I had nowhere to turn."

Norma Gonzalez was in disabling pain but didn't have health insurance and couldn't afford the surgery necessary to correct the cartilage tear in her knee. She was unable to work or care for her young daughter. That's when she connected with Operation Access and Sutter Health and her life changed forever. Watch Norma' story ().

Devoted Doctors and Donors Keep Doors Open

Brownsville's story -- "We do what we can, as well as we can, and as lovingly as we can."

About 35 years ago two doctors left the big city for Brownsville, Calif., a rural community 75 miles outside of Sacramento. From a converted barracks of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the pair began seeing patients. A generation later, the Brownsville team is part of Sutter Health and the entire local community has stepped up to keep this small medical facility up and running. Watch the Brownsville clinic's story ().

Patient and Employee Satisfaction

Percy's story -- "This is the Sutter Difference."

Each year, employees throughout Sutter Health complete a confidential worker satisfaction survey. When he looked at his department's survey results, Percy Williams, director of Radiology, Santa Cruz Medical Foundation knew things could be improved. So he worked with his team to make some big changes - changes that had a huge positive impact on patients. Watch Percy's story ().

Additionally, Sutter Health's first-ever comprehensive and interactive annual report, released last year, has received rave reviews and several awards including:

-- Judge's Choice trophy in the Aster Awards, recognition that is given only to division winners with perfect scores from all judges. One of ten such awards received from 3,000 entries. This achievement earned the report a feature in the award issue of Marketing Healthcare Today.

-- Bronze Award from the 2007 Vision Awards Annual Report Competition presented by the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP).

-- Finalist in the most-improved publication category for Ragan Communications.

-- Merit Award from the International Association of Business Communicators.

About Sutter Health

Sutter Health is a family of physician organizations, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. Serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, Sutter Health is a regional leader in cardiac care, cancer treatment, orthopedics, obstetrics, and newborn intensive care, and is a pioneer in advanced patient safety technology.

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