The Coffey Blog

Involve stakeholders early in your healthcare website design

Posted on: Monday, August 19, 2019

Molly Phillips, Digital Content Specialist

If you've ever managed a healthcare website redesign, then you know how difficult it can be to get its content right. But ensuring the accuracy of your site's content is vital for both your healthcare consumers and your organization as a whole.

Luckily, there are people at your disposal who can help you craft stellar site content: your stakeholders.

Whether you represent a hospital, health system or health plan, here's why and how you should engage your internal stakeholders early in your healthcare website redesign.

Who are your stakeholders?

Your CEO and marketing lead are stakeholders to be sure. But they already know what their role is in the redesign.

It's important to broaden your definition of stakeholder to include other crucial members of your organization. They could include:

  • Service line experts, like providers or department directors.
  • Members of your organization's foundation team.
  • The head of human resources.
  • Your customer service lead.

Why do they matter?

Including stakeholders at the outset of your website redesign could help you reap big benefits. Working with stakeholders helps you:

  • Make your site's content more accurate and engaging.
  • Build trust and excitement about the redesign internally.
  • Improve project efficiency. (Often, doing more work up front with your stakeholders means fewer costly corrections later.)

5 tips for partnering with stakeholders

Try these tips to set the stage for a good working relationship with stakeholders during a healthcare web redesign:

1. Choose your stakeholders carefully. A good time to do this is after you've finalized your site map. It can act as a guide for the areas of your site that need stakeholder attention. To keep yourself organized, make a master list of stakeholders and include the area of the site they're contributing to as well as their contact information. Working with a vendor? Share that list with them as soon as possible.

If you're a health system with service lines at multiple locations, try to select stakeholders who are familiar with all of your locations. And if that's not possible, then choose one from each location who can provide accurate information about their facility.

2. Share the project's schedule. Tell your stakeholders when your go-live date is and explain what the other project milestones leading up to that are. And be sure to highlight the time at which making further changes to content could be costly. This might help ensure you receive their feedback on time.

3. Explain the project's scope. Be clear about what you have planned for each stakeholder's area of the site. Are they overseeing one page or multiple? And if you already have a design prototype approved, tell them so. This prevents them from wasting time brainstorming design or layout ideas.

4. Give clear directions. Detail the work stakeholders will be doing and explain why you chose them. Tell them who they'll be working with, what kind of information they'll be asked to provide, and who will have a say in approving the final content.

5. Make vendor introductions. The project's point person should be the one to introduce internal stakeholders to any external vendors or writers. Your stakeholders will be more likely to read and respond to an email from someone they know versus a third-party vendor they may mistake for spam.

Set expectations with the vendor that you want to be copied on all communications with stakeholders and invited as an optional attendee to any meetings they set. This can help you stay up-to-date on the content's progress.

For a head start, download this email template to introduce your vendor to your stakeholders.

Need help?

Coffey's content and design teams have developed a streamlined process for working with stakeholders to create webpages that exceed expectations. To learn more, call us at 888.805.9101 or email us.

Related reading

Ready to redesign? Get inspired by the best medical websites
Healthcare website hosting: 4 things to consider
HIPAA-compliant websites: What you need to know