Involve stakeholders early in your healthcare website design
Boost your content's accuracy and your project's efficiency.
If you've ever managed a healthcare website project, then you know how difficult it can be to get the 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 efforts to create fresh and accurate content.
Who are your stakeholders?
It's important to broaden your definition of stakeholder to include members of your organization who play a crucial role in updating the content overhaul.
Obviously, you’ll want to include team members with the most knowledge of your services. Also, consider inviting those who will be affected by your project. For example, could departments see increased demand for their services?
As a starting point, your stakeholders 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 new content internally.
- Identify services or programs that you may not have thought to promote on your new site.
- Improve project efficiency. (Often, doing more work up front with your stakeholders means fewer costly corrections later.)
6 tips for partnering with stakeholders
Try these tips to set the stage for a good working relationship with stakeholders who will help provide content during a healthcare web redesign:
- 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. This makes you less likely to overlook anyone whose input you need.
Pro tip: 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 and services.
- Keep yourself organized. Make a master list of stakeholders and include the area of the site they're contributing to as well as their current phone numbers and email addresses. Working with a vendor? Share that list with them as soon as possible.
- 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.
- 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 when all you really need from them is their input about their site area’s content.
- 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, who their audiences are and who will have a say in approving the final content.
- 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 than to one from a third-party vendor they may mistake for spam.
Set expectations with the vendor about your inclusion in their communications with stakeholders. Do you want to be copied on all communications? Do you want to be included as an optional attendee to any meetings they set? Things like this can help you stay up-to-date on the content's progress.