As I sit reviewing a stack of VitalSite release notes two-inches thick I can’t help but think… Man! We got a LOT done last year! And this isn’t even considering what our project managers, designers, content strategists, IT and marketing departments accomplished last year. This isn’t even touching on what our clients achieved last year. This is just looking at what our product team completed in 2009 – and wow, I’m impressed.
And it’s not just about quantity – we got a LOT of BIG things done last year that really add value for our clients.
- Provider Directory: Two words: improved search. We didn’t just dive into the latest version of the provider directory – we watched thousands of recorded videos of users trying to find a doctor and observed that a simplified search resulted in a higher rate of success. So the new directory features a smarter algorithm for hard-to-spell doctor names (for those not sure if Connor uses one n or two or for those who don’t know how the heck to start spelling names like Rautilavan), new user-friendly results pages including doc photos, and the ability to highlight specific doctors (for those who want to promote a physician group or Top 100 doctors.) All these changes mean one thing: happier site visitors who are more likely to have success using your provider directory and making an appointment with one of your doctors.
- Calendar and Events: I’d put our calendar and events functionality up against any on the market. And what was already great is even better with new administrative tools, additional event fee capability and additional email notification options. One highlight is the ability to transfer registrants from one event to another without having to cancel and reschedule them.
- Locations: Google maps, anyone? Our latest locations functionality provides integrated mapping capabilities and thumbnail images of locations. You can add driving directions on the results page and link to Google Maps (or any other map if you’re not a fan.) You can also cross-promote doctors at that location. The result? Your site visitors will be more likely to book with your facility – and arrive at their appointment on time!
- Portal: With a focus on personalizing the eHealth experience, our 2009 portal updates allows visitors to securely log into the portal application and create a personal account — and they use that same account to manage profiles for multiple family members. Users can save the progress of online forms, such as pre-registration, appointment requests, or bill payments, and return later to finish. They can also securely communicate with administrators about an upcoming visit or bill, and subscribe to personalized e-newsletters based on their individual preferences. Our portal is making great strides to provide easy access to personalized information and expanded tools that simplify and customize the online experience.
The Future Looks Bright
And what’s in store for 2010? Let’s just say we’re already working on how to make our patient portal even more valuable. We’ll be focusing on developing interactive and personalized features, as well as developing PHR applications and integration. And portal isn’t our only focus for 2010; we’ll still be updating calendar and events administration and making improvements to VitalSite’s core foundation.