Converting Patient Education Materials into Healthcare Content Marketing

Struggling to find ongoing, relevant content for your hospital’s website, blog, email campaigns and social media? You probably are overlooking a treasure trove of existing content that sits on patient floors and in your physician offices—patient education materials.

With just a little chopping up and a little editing, you can easily turn a 32-page spine surgery patient guide into a plethora of healthcare content.

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16 Ways to Repurpose a Patient Guide We Came Up With in 20 Minutes

Lots of hospitals produce guides to help patients prepare for complex treatments, such as joint replacement, cardiac surgery, dialysis, and cancer care. You also might have white papers or annual reports you can pull from. And don’t forget to look to your physicians, who give out tons of patient information daily.

Just to show you how it’s done, we sat down with a hospital’s notebook they give out to cancer patients. Then we set a timer for 20 minutes and came up with the following 16 ideas for how this guide could be repurposed as content marketing. Your patient guides probably do not have the same sections in them as the guide we used, but you can apply these same ideas to yours.

  1. Break out relevant sections, like My Cancer Notes, Treatment, Finances and Support, into mini e-guides to offer as a free download in an e-newsletter or social media posts.
  2. Turn the “How cancer is staged” page into an infographic that visually explains the difference between primary tumors, regional lymph nodes and distant metastasis for posting on your hospital website. Use the same information as a blog post with a few quotes from an oncology pathologist, then link to the infographic.
  3. Streamline the “My Providers and My Team” form into a pocket-sized download that patients could fill out and keep in their purse or wallet in case they ever need to get a hold of their physicians in a hurry. Post on your website.
  4. Convert design files for forms like medication lists or appointment notes into fillable PDFs that can be posted on your website or downloaded by patients.
  5. Pull out bullet points from the section on what the hospital offers, add photo backgrounds and post them as a series on Instagram. Then ask followers to tell you why they chose your doctors or hospital for care.
  6. Use the “Preparing for Your Appointment” copy from the guide as a sidebar for a print article on what to do in the first 30 days after being diagnosed with cancer.
  7. Convert the section on Advance Directives into a hospital blog post.
  8. Scroll “Patient Safety Tips” on the monitors in all your waiting rooms.
  9. Turn “Managing Side Effects” into a simple video and share it on Facebook.
  10.  Trim the list under “When Should You Call the Doctor?” and print it on fridge magnets.
  11. Use FAQs on billing and finances as a website page.
  12. Use the “Cancer Team” bio section as the blueprint for a mini-video series highlighting real employees that can be posted on TikTok, Facebook, and other social media sites (plus used by HR for recruiting).
  13. Take the “Caregiving” section and turn it into a pre-recorded webinar for family and friends of cancer patients.
  14. Promote the Support Groups on your social media accounts. Be sure to list meeting dates on the “events” section of your Google Places listing.
  15. Write a blog post about what to expect once cancer treatment has ended and drive readers to download the Follow-Up Care plan that is repurposed from the guide.
  16. Include a journal in each new patient’s care packet and invite them to subscribe to their email or text list to get daily writing prompts. Send out the same prompts via social media for non-patients (who could someday become patients).

Had we given ourselves more time, we could’ve come up with even more ideas. Try this exercise with one of your patient guides and see how much content you can repurpose for practically nothing.


TotalCom Marketing is a full-service healthcare marketing and advertising agency that believes in getting great results from telling great stories – our clients’ stories. Contact us for more information or view our work here.