Rush-Copley Medical Center Promotes Providers with Innovative New Website Design

Rush-Copley Medical Center’s new website design was strongly influenced by Rush-Copley’s  marketing goal to fill their physicians’ calendars with new patients. On the home page, Rush-Copley’s doctors’ are front and center – making it easy for patients to get to know them. And with strong calls to action, it’s easier than ever for site visitors to schedule an appointment.

Taking a nod from retail designs, Rush-Copley’s new homepage is broken into sections, allowing many topics to be presented while keeping the design clean and uncluttered. It takes advantage of the fact that 18.02% of Rush-Copley site visitors are accessing the site through smartphones and tablets. The layout encourages swiping and it is completely responsive – so it will reformat to look amazing on any device without panning and zooming.

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Are You Tracking Your Health?

mobile_monitoring_2013According to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, nearly seven in 10 Americans track a health indicator, such as weight or blood pressure.

As we look to the health system of the future, more self-management will be required, and capturing this information and sharing it with a caregiver will be critical for patient-centered medical home models. So seeing people track their health is a good sign. But 7 in 10? That seems out of step with my personal experience.

Let’s look at what Pew means here. From the Tracking for Health report, they found that people who track a health indicator track their weight, diet or exercise routine (60%), track other indicators like blood pressure, sleep or headaches (33%), or tracking health indicators for a friend or loved one (12%).

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Building an Extraordinary Mobile App

I’ve weighed in before on when to use a mobile app rather than a mobile website. But once you choose the app route, how do you create something that consumers will actually use?

This was the question posed to a panel of application developers at the mHealth Summit. Their thoughts provide a great framework for anyone approaching the app market.

Start Out by Solving a Problem

Many apps fail right off the bat because they are based on a clever idea that just doesn’t appeal to the consumer. Don’t build first and then try to find a market for the app! A better approach is to find a distinct pain point for a group of people and then solve that problem with the app.

One way to find a need for a consumer-focused app is to mirror the patient’s journey with their health challenges. Condition-centric apps tend to deliver more value after diagnosis, educating consumers about their condition, connecting them with a support community, encouraging lifestyle change and helping with the long-term management of their disease.

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Intranet in Your Pocket?

IImage of a woman surfing the intranet on her smartphone‘m at the mHealth Summit outside of Washington D.C. learning about the emerging role that mobile technology is playing in healthcare delivery. The numbers are the ones we’ve heard over and over again – growing smartphone and tablet adoption, faster data plans and pervasive Wi-Fi.

Most of my focus relates to the ways in which consumers use mobile technology and the opportunities mobile provides for healthcare organizations to connect with consumers.

In contrast, much of the mHealth Summit discussion revolves around how clinicians and staff use mobile devices. A recent study from Manhattan Research indicates that large numbers of clinical professionals are using smartphones during patient consultations.

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Infographic: How Health Consumers Engage Online

How do you engage today’s health consumer online? It’s a question we get asked. A lot. It’s one of our favorite questions because there’s so much research on how health consumers create their online experience. And when you dig through the stats, three predominant themes emerge.

Mobile, social media and search.

So we thought what a great topic for an infographic!

The fact is today’s mobile, social and search trends are indicative of the growing role digital connectivity plays in our lives. These three items have a profound impact on how health consumers find you online, research and evaluate treatment options, and take that critical step from being consumers to patients. With digital communications changing at such a dramatic rate, it can be tough to create a digital strategy to keep pace. At Geonetric, we’re constantly researching how consumers use the Web both inside and outside healthcare.

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The Business Case for Responsive Web Design

Smartphone with an image of a dollar sign on the screenWe’ve talked a lot about how mobile strategy is changing. We’ve examined why mobile is so important and how changes in Web access is leading to the need for responsive sites. We’ve discussed how responsive web design works and given tips for constructing content in responsively designed sites. We’ve even created an awesome video to introduce responsive design concepts.

Now let’s put all this together into the overall business case for creating a responsive site.

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Mobile Misconceptions

Back in business school, I attended a presentation by some marketing alums working at Kimberly-Clark. They told us that, early in their careers, the company preferred to have men working in their feminine products division rather than women.

Why would a major consumer products company staff their marketing teams with people who had no direct experience with the products that they were marketing and weren’t a target audience for their product promotion?

Simple. That’s exactly why they put them there.

The reality is there are products that are very personal and that we get very attached to. On the outside, you’d think it’s good to have a personal connection with a product you are marketing. But the risk is that we can easily extrapolate our own personal experience with the category (along with all of the preconceptions, beliefs and emotional connections that we bring with us) as being what people generally think and feel about the products.

Smartphones can be a little like that.  They’re not called “Apple fan boys” for nothing, after all.

Those of us who work in digital and live and breathe tech – let’s just refer to ourselves as “geeks” to keep things simple – have really strong feelings about mobile, smartphones, apps and the mobile Web in general. We bring those strong feelings and the opinions that they spawn into our work in serving a growing base of mobile users.

But sometimes, we geeks are just wrong.

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Altru Health System and Geonetric Lead the Healthcare Industry

With so many building projects currently underway at Altru Health System it only seemed fitting for them to work with Geonetric to build one of healthcare’s first responsive design websites.

So what is responsive design? Quite simply, responsive design allows website visitors to experience the full extent of your website by automatically adjusting to any screen size – whether it’s a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. When a visitor goes to www.altru.org on a smartphone or iPad they’ll notice the entire site displays elegantly and effortlessly. This provides users more access to relevant content and online information that they wouldn’t normally find on a typical mobile website. And that translates into much more meaningful interactions between Altru and their site visitors.

How fitting that the mission of Altru is to improve the health and enrich the lives of patients. By that same token, Geonetric’s mission is to do revolutionary work for our clients. And together, Altru and Geonetric have set the bar quite high when it comes to improving mobile access. Currently, about 15% of Altru’s online traffic originates from mobile devices. What better way to offer those community members access to everything Altru has to offer by creating a responsively-designed website!

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New Geonetric Website – Our Turn to Show Off a Bit!

We get to celebrate client website and portal launches all the time – it’s a fantastic milestone as we work together with our clients to build the best in eHealth. The vast majority of our efforts around here goes to our clients, as it should.

But yesterday, we also launched a complete overhaul of our own website, featuring a number of innovative new capabilities and tons of content useful to our industry.

Specifically:

  • The site runs on the latest release of our award-winning VitalSite software – making it incredibly easy for our team to update and manage over time.
  • The new site is a fully responsive design that beautifully adapts to any platform: desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Check it out!
  • We’re committed to discussing and promoting innovation in the eHealth industry, so we’ve provided a plethora of resources, all available for free to our prospects and clients (or competitors)  to learn from, including:

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Your Top Mobile Questions Answered

The mobile landscape is changing fast. And I mean fast. New approaches will probably emerge before you even get done reading this blog post. Ok, maybe not that fast.

All teasing aside, it’s hard to know which way to go when it comes to mobile. Do you build a separate mobile site for your hospital? Should you look into this whole responsive design thing? And what about apps? Are they worth the time and resources to develop?

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Content Considerations for Responsive Websites

There’s been a great deal of discussion here at Geonetric and in the cyber scene lately about the advantages of taking the responsive website approach versus having a stand-alone mobile site. We’ve talked about how the Age of Mobile Has Arrived, informed you that Everything You Know About Mobile is Wrong, and cautioned you about Approaching Responsive Design Responsibly. We’ve hopefully convinced you that responsive provides a better user experience for your audiences, aids in search engine optimization and creates less work for you. Now that you are head over heels about responsive websites, I want to talk about responsive content. I can almost hear the collective cries: “Now wait a darn minute! If my site is responsive my content will be too, won’t it?” The answer is yes… sort of. Your content will be responsive but that doesn’t mean it will be effective.

When considering the implementation of a responsive website, it’s important to think about how your content will be affected by the shifting and sliding of the page element. As page elements resize and move to different areas of the screen based on the magic of responsive design, so moves your text and important calls-to-action. Imagine you’ve placed an important call-to-action following two paragraphs of text on a key landing page. This call-to-action is clearly visible in a typical browser window and on a tablet, but what happens on a smartphone? Because it follows two paragraphs of text that have been squeezed and stretched into a much narrower space, the call-to-action now requires much more scrolling to be viewed. That’s probably not what you intended. Your goal was to create a better mobile experience by implementing a responsive design; unfortunately the result was the opposite.

Several content blogs have raised concerns about Starbuck’s recently unveiled responsive website. Starbucks deserves kudos for what must have been a huge and complex undertaking but there are some content issues that can provide valuable lessons for the rest of us. If you look at the Starbucks website in multiple devices you’ll see that the home page flows beautifully between screens of various sizes.

Starbucks responsive design website as seen on desktop, tablet and mobile

Unfortunately, when we start to navigate deeper into their site, the responsive nature of the design starts to have some less than positive effects on user experience. If you click on the home page item regarding one of their special whole bean coffees from the island of San Cristobal from a browser on a desktop or laptop you get a well-structured page with a short description of the product, reviews from other customers, a list of quick facts and an easy to find button to place your order.

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All Your Mobile Questions Answered: Webinar Follow-Up Q & A

Last week’s webinar, Everything You Know About Mobile is Wrong was a big success. The only downside was that we didn’t have enough time to cover all the questions! To remedy that, here are the answers to the questions we couldn’t address during the session.

For those of you who missed it, the webinar reviews how the mobile space has evolved in the past year and what that means for your digital mobile strategy. I introduced a new approach known as responsive design that re-architects mobile sites to work optimally on diverse devices. We also talked a bit about some of the growing opportunities in the mobile space including QR codes and a great discussion about when a mobile app is a better choice than a mobile website and when it’s not.

Is there a link to the video you showed that explains responsive design? I would like to share that concept with others.

Yep. Here it is:

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUDDdqqgpyY[/youtube]

Keep in mind, there’s more to a good responsive site than just shifting columns and resizing images. Those elements are harder to see than the magical moving template, however, so that’s what we’re showing in this video.

We’ve been running a stand-alone mobile website for more than a year (different vendor, platform, etc.)  Can you give a short summary of why the responsive approach would be better?

Lots of organizations took this approach to get a mobile-optimized solution to market quickly. Knowing how our users’ needs and behaviors have changed, I’m glad you’re re-evaluating your strategy.

Here are the highlights:

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Everything You Know About Mobile is Wrong

2011 was a breakout year for mobile Internet use. I’m not just referring to the growing number, size and power of smart phones and tablets or the near-universal availability of affordable Wi-Fi and cellular data networks. Mobile Internet users have also become more numerous, adventurous and sophisticated.

The truth is we’re playing catch-up with our users. If your mobile strategy is a year old, it’s time to throw it out and start fresh.

The “Common Wisdom” Around Mobile
For the early adopters, mobile Internet use isn’t new. We spent years addicted to our BlackBerrys, Moto Q’s and first generation iPhones, which allowed us to check the occasional website. Many of our preconceptions come from these early experiences – screens were small, bandwidth was at a premium, and many websites were marginally functional on our little lifelines to the digital world.

As the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices grew, we saw our opportunity to make the online world more hospitable. The percent of site visitors started growing and we made the case for creating an optimized mobile experience.

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Approaching Responsive Design Responsibly

Image of a laptop, tablet and smartphone showing the same contentOne thing is certain about the Web – change is imminent and constant. As Web strategists, writers, designers, and developers, we’re used to this reality. That’s why when the Web throws yet another curveball, we’re prepared to react. The latest curveball has come with a shift in how people interact with online content – their migration to mobile devices.

Back in 2009, Morgan Stanley published a 424-page diatribe titled, The Mobile Internet Report, which declared, “More users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years.” Smart people, those Morgan Stanley folks. Midway through 2012, we’ve already seen an explosion in the adoption of mobile devices.

Studies indicate that some users are leaving their desktop machines for a mobile device and not turning back. For those users, it appears their mobile device may be the only computer they need. Other users strike a balance between their mobile and desktop devices.

As designers, we have been watching this trend for several years, and it’s clear we’re no longer designing for one on-screen experience. Instead we have to be responsive to the needs of all users, across all devices, ranging from extra-large to small – from vertical to horizontal. And websites need to adapt to these varying screen resolutions, aspect ratios and user inputs.

The uncontrollable nature of mobile computing has challenges that go along with it. Imagine you are a painter. You take many things into consideration as you approach your latest work – design principles and elements. Color. Emphasis. Contrast. Line. And perhaps most important, composition.

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Worlds of Fun – Launching North Kansas City Hospital’s New Web Presence

When I think of Kansas City, my mind always conjures up images of a family trip to Worlds of Fun. I was lucky enough to provide support to North Kansas City Hospital (NKCH) as they worked with Geonetric to build a new Web presence, and let’s just say throughout the project I was as excited as a kid waiting in line for a rollercoaster.

Together NKCH and Geonetric created a consumer site, patient portal and mobile website. The new site offers intuitive navigation and compelling design while providing a multitude of self service options including a comprehensive provider directory, service directory, bill payment, wellness tools, and calendar and events.

And what’s not to love about increasing usability and task completion?!

Plus, Geonetric’s long-term strategic guidance is able to help NKCH’s goal of building a stronger community focus become a reality. You might say we are there at every turn to make sure that rollercoaster stays on its tracks!

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