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Best Hospital Websites Put Patients First

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 28, 2012

What good is a hospital website if it is not geared toward informing patients, visually striking, and easily updated by internal staff? While those three elements may seem basic, many organizations do not have the means, time, or expertise to manage their sites well.

Not too long ago, St. Helena (CA) Hospitals’ website was poorly organized, visually bland, and seldom updated. In 2011 the organization embarked on a lofty redesign project, tearing down its online presence and beginning anew.

Re-focusing on the patient
In late 2010, St. Helena administration was fed up with its current website. 

"Our old site was about us," Joshua Cowan, vice president of marketing for Northern California Network of Adventist Health, told Healthcare Marketing Advisor. "It was more hospital-focused than patient-focused, which made it difficult for visitors to navigate and find what they really needed. There was plenty of information about our facility, our history, and our services, but it was organized in a way that made it about us instead of the site visitor."

The site was cumbersome to update and therefore updated infrequently. It lacked a clean presentation. And it was also missing some key elements, such as descriptions of conditions and treatments available, and the physicians who offer them.

Each of those characteristics is critical to a successful hospital website. A frequently updated site can improve search engine optimization and informs patients about the news and events going on at your organization. And including treatment and physician information is a must-have for any hospital site.

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1 comments on "Best Hospital Websites Put Patients First"


Bill Sterzenbach (2/6/2013 at 9:54 AM)
Sometimes it makes sense to hide the milk. In fact, there is a very good reason why it's not by the register. When determining the architecture for your site, you need to determine which items need to be by the register and which should be in the back aisle. Too often, health-related websites make info TOO accessible - sometimes a visitor SHOULD be required to learn a bit before getting to "the goodies". For example, a few pages on the risks and costs wedged between a marketing piece on robotics and the "contact us about robotics options" page.