Virtual photo tours are a great way to show patients and families what to expect during a hospital visit. They’re also a vehicle to build your brand and a key step in fostering trust with potential patients.

Warm, inviting and informative virtual tours go a long way toward putting patients and families at ease. Here are some ways you can make your photo tour stand out.

  • Have a diverse array of people smiling and interacting in at least some of your photos. Include employees a patient may see during a visit. Human faces will add warmth and make the hospital look less like an institution. If it makes getting photo clearances easier, employees can pose as patients. Yale New Haven Health’s Greenwich Hospital includes staff and patients in their photo tour.
  • Adding audio – which can be a voice-over reading of your captions – brings your photos to life and also makes your presentation more accessible for visually impaired patients and family members. Premier Health provides audio on their virtual tour of maternity services.
  • Take your interior photos from the view of a patient or family member. A bird’s-eye shot may look cool, but can be cold and empty (especially without people in the shots). Also, only use architect’s drawings for virtual tours when absolutely necessary. Replace these with photos that include staff and patients as soon as possible.
  • Design the photo tour to follow a patient’s key steps through your hospital or clinic. Provide captions that explain the images. If it makes sense, for some of the captions add a brief sentence that promotes the benefits of choosing your hospital. University of Cincinnati Health uses both types of captions in their photo tours. Here’s an example of a caption that informs and promotes from their Women’s Health Services Tour.

Tip: If you are looking for an app to use to create your virtual tour, consider Periscope.

Sarah Hawkins is a freelance writer, editor and researcher. Read more about her work at