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Website designHealthcare content2 min read Your questions answered: What is a healthcare content management system?

Learn more about what a healthcare content management system (a healthcare CMS) can do, and find out how to choose the right one for your team.

September 18, 2017Jordan Knapp, Client Advocate/Project Manager

A healthcare content management system (CMS) is a program or software that allows you to maintain your website. It may sound like a technical tool that only your IT department should have access to. But in reality, a well-built healthcare CMS could be a vital asset to anyone working in a communications department.

Consider this: As a marketer, maintaining your website is one of your key job functions. Keeping your website up-to-date and accurate is a vital piece of your organization's communication strategy. A healthcare CMS allows you to do just that.

But not all CMS tools are the same. A CMS can be very simple or very complex, based on the software or program your website needs. If you're searching for the right CMS, these are a few attributes we've found most important to our healthcare clients.

1. In-depth content management capabilities

An effective healthcare CMS will allow you to add pages, delete pages and edit content in real time. That means the changes you make in the system should appear on your site almost immediately.

The CMS should also give you the opportunity to tackle more challenging tasks, including creating a new service line section or updating homepage promotions.

Search engines like to keep track of the content on your site, and they do so with site maps. Since a CMS gives you the opportunity to change so much content, your site map should change automatically so that you won't have to make the same update in several places to keep your website up-to-date.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is also a very important factor to consider when evaluating a CMS tool. In order to help with your SEO efforts, your CMS should allow you to access the source code and the meta data for your web pages, so you can add in and customize page title tags, meta descriptions and more.

2. Technology that keeps data secure

In addition to assessing function, you'll need to evaluate technology and security.

If you have any forms that could potentially be storing protected health information as defined by HIPAA, you will need to protect that data. In addition, any forms that include payments provided via credit cards will need to be PCI compliant. Your CMS—along with your website development team—should help you handle these tasks.

Depending on your organization, you may have many users using the CMS to maintain your website. It is important that your CMS has a secure login, so you can control who can make changes. And it is important to ensure you have the ability to lock down permissions or limit access to certain areas of the site.

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3. Support when you need it

The ability to handle changes on your own is the key benefit of a CMS. But it's helpful to work with an expert during busy times so you can make changes quickly, when you're short on time. And let's face itwhen your website content is always being updated and changing, it is nice to have an ally in tackling all of those updates.

That's why there is great value in seeking a CMS provider that acts as a strategic partner and provides great customer service.

Is it time for a new healthcare content management system?

If you're working with an old or outdated healthcare CMS, let us help.

We build all of our websites in Site Assist, our online-based healthcare CMS. We'll work with you to set up the CMS to help you achieve your goals. And we built the CMS with healthcare teams in mind, so you’ll have all the tools you need to be successful. Ready for a demo? Just reach out.

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