Seven hospitals. 2,500 affiliated doctors. More than 70 additional locations representing physician practices, imaging centers, surgery centers and more. All under the umbrella of HCA Virginia. And all represented by dozens of disparate, unconnected websites.
Freestanding hospitals are increasingly joining forces as large healthcare systems, which results in expanded offerings — more providers, broader services, advanced technology — and new brand identities. If you’ve experienced this as a healthcare marketer, you can appreciate the thought and effort that goes into communicating these changes. If you haven’t, you can learn from those who’ve been there.
The sweeping changes that accompany large-scale restructuring demand strategic communication. You have a new opportunity to express who you are and what you do. You have a chance to reshape the perceptions of consumers, referring physicians and competitors.
To their credit, HCA Virginia used the transition from a collection of hospital sites to an integrated central site as an opportunity to transform their online presence. They built a new website from the ground up, eliminating four websites representing seven hospitals in the process.
They invested in a new brand campaign – Life/You Only Get One – promoting the combined power of their network, expertise and technology.
They also created entirely new Web content, dedicating the time and resources to getting it right. In partnering with them on this project, one of our objectives was to express the breadth of services across the entire system. We started by identifying and learning about each hospital’s offerings, a process that yielded great insights about the mix of offerings across HCA Virginia.
As is typical of many hospitals, many services were under-represented on the Web or had no visibility at all. On the new site, all services are included, along with reasons to choose HCA Virginia for care:
The new site was not without its challenges. Individual hospitals were accustomed to a separate, robust Web presence. With the new site, content on services focused more on the system brand and less on distinct facilities. Had we created robust content for the system and for each entity, we would have ended up with a lot of duplicate content (and risked a negative impact on organic search).
HCA Virginia was willing to make hard choices to meet their objectives. Consumers and community physicians learn about services at the system level and follow paths to accessing care at specific facilities. While content for each hospital has been significantly reduced, coverage of healthcare services has been expanded. As a result, the new website has less than 500 pages and a lot more impact.
Grant Sanborn, Director of Interactive Marketing for the HCA Capital Division summarizes it well: “Ultimately, the way we structured the content is logical and makes sense for consumers, which was our goal. The new site consolidates content around services, displays the breadth and depth of what we offer, raises the profile of physician practices, and, in the process, lifts all boats. “
Learn more about this initiative by watching our webinar: The Content Conundrum.