It used to be that a hospital, clinic, or health authority’s web site was – at worst – an afterthought that no staff were much concerned with. Today – and aside from emergency visits – such sites are often the first glimpse patients will have of these organizations.
And while a hospital or clinic is only as effective as its staff, innovative new ways of doing things online are helping both those staff and their patients make their way faster and easier to a state of wellbeing.
Here are six examples of such places doing it right, when it comes to digital media:
University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina
This is a moving example of clarity – both in design and usability. Need to find something this organization offers? You can’t miss it. (Especially handy when timing is off the essence).
The really innovative aspect of this site is that it’s perhaps one of the most compassionate-feeling digital media health presences we’ve seen on the web. This is accomplished largely by the choice of colours and very wise use of a particular aesthetic in the images it rotates through a single upper-right position on the homepage.
Massachusetts General Hospital
It’s heartening that – as this hospital celebrates its 200th anniversary – its digital media presence is not only so well-thought-out it can be understood…it’s actually so intuitive that it can’t be misunderstood. Straightforward, attractive, useful.
The innovation here is in the executing of a bread-and-butter strategy, with gorgeous results.
The dynamic web-based system then provides doctors with automated responses to let them know the status of their referrals, including when a referral has been received, whether it has been redirected, and to whom.
It also sends a message to let physicians and other health professionals know when a patient has been booked for an appointment.
Far from challenging the competent recommendations of physicians, this site – not affiliated with any hospital or clinic – potentially lets patients help their doctors help them by accessing a hypochondriac’s command-center-worth of information.
Instead of worrying in a vacuum, patients can inform themselves with one of the easiest-to-navigate, credible symptom-checkers on the web.
Don’t let the negative-sounding name fool you – this site is a positive and solution-oriented resource for patients.
Last year, the heartburn remedy launched its “Prilosec: Official Sponsor of You” campaign, in which it acknowledged that people who used the product didn’t necessarily care if they were really connected to or in any way loyal to the product.
To change this, the company launched a hilarious campaign (see video here) to award micro-sponsorships to customers for official positions that had a lot to do with living life, regardless of whether it had anything to do directly with the product. The result has been numerous marketing and interactive awards for this ongoing outreach stunt.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
The dramatic innovation here is that – without it seeming amateur or inappropriate – the designers of this new media presence have managed to make it look like kids actually had a hand in building and populating this site:
A nice-to-have for parents but a monumental plus for young patients anxious about upcoming medical appointments or procedures.
Their latest slogan: In social media, it’s cool to be friends with a hospital.