According to a Google study, 84% of patients use both online and offline sources for hospital research making digital an integral part of a patient’s experience. It was no surprise that the executives at Coordinated Health (CH), the third largest specialty hospital network in Eastern Pennsylvania, were concerned about the effectiveness of their aging website in light of upgraded offerings from competitors.
Division Of/ stepped in to develop a longterm strategy to navigate the digital landscape and benefit from the shift in consumer behavior.
How can we support the entire patient journey online and extend the high-end hospital experience to the web?
Competitor and user research revealed that CH lacked visibility online and that the existing website was not clearly organized around the needs of the patient. As a result, potential patients searching for a provider were more likely to find highly visible alternatives from competing hospitals, while existing patients had little interaction with the site to support their experience. Our approach would be to create touch points and engage patients at every step in their patient journey.
Potential patients are likely to make inferences about the quality of a hospital’s facilities based on their experience with the brand online.
We reimagined the entire experience of a CH patient to include a supportive online tool that was valuable to them and created efficiencies for the business. Then we deployed tactics to increase the visibility and reach of the site to draw in new patients.
The website was completely transformed to be a purposeful tool for both potential and existing patients. When visiting the site to research a service, dynamically generated links delivered relevant content such as bios of the clinicians who provide the service and locations where the service is offered. This crosslinking gave users all of the information needed to make a decision, with opportunities to make an appointment integrated at every step of the way.
Growing the digital footprint
With an engaging, well organized website in place it was time to expand visibility and draw in potential patients. SEO optimizations and tactics such as video transcriptions and a new conditions directory added rich content to the site and improved rank for relevant keywords. This lead to 49% year over year growth in traffic from organic searches.
Retaining patients with community engagement
From videos describing conditions and treatments to healthy lifestyle articles, CH generated a lot of content, but struggled to get exposure for it. As a first step, the content was organized on the website in an editorial style section with unique article pages that were optimized for SEO. Once the content was structured correctly, we implemented a process to make it easily digestible on social media to drive traffic back to the website. With a content strategy and calendar in place we were able to grow CH’s following and establish a new channel to engage with the local community.
Turning patients to advocates
Word of mouth and social proof play an important part in a patient's decision making process so activating existing patients to share their experience was integral part of our strategy. A custom rating system was implemented for patients to leave reviews and testimonials of the clinicians that they worked with. This not only created opportunities for engagement and feedback on the site, it also allowed clinicians to rank higher in search results with indicators of their reputation.
One year after launch, when all of our tactics had been implemented, website traffic rose 51% and total annual appointment requests made online increased 2.8 times. These stellar results gave the executive team the confidence shift marketing budget from traditional media to explore the endless opportunities for creative promotion in the digital realm. Ch.com has become the central hub for a wide range of marketing initiatives from voting contests to integrated multimedia campaigns.
The team at Division Of/ helped us navigate the daunting process of transitioning our archaic corporate website into a beautifully designed, multifunctional platform. They did this while juggling campaign microsites and ongoing optimization challenges. Their strategic guidance helped simplify the path to appointment requests, which led to a measurable increase in business for our hospital network.