We received lots of great questions during the webinar. More questions than we were able to answer in the hour we had. A few, like this one on licensing or writing health content, were worth answering in a blog post of their own. You’ll see a few more of these trickle out in the next week, but for now let’s tackle this one.
There are some great advantages to utilizing your own, unique, high-quality health content on your website rather than licensing a syndicated content library from a vendor. For starters, the content showcases your expertise as an organization, specifically represents your organization’s approach to specific conditions and protocols for treatment or management, and it’s much more effective from a search engine optimization perspective.
However, my first thought when receiving this question during our recent webinar Intermediate Writing for the Web was – are you nuts?
One of the biggest challenges the health systems we work with face when launching and managing their online presence is content. Tapping the expertise in the organization, getting a clinical review process in place (a must-have for health library content), and building the thousands of pages needed for coverage of general health topics is a tremendous undertaking. One that most healthcare organizations will choose not to take on.
I think the underlying question being asked here is better phrased as, “What is the role of a licensed health library on my website?” So let’s dig into that question in a little more detail.
Few organizations are going to take on the task of writing a reference guide for diseases, conditions, symptoms and treatments. It is done from time to time, but it’s rare. Mayo Clinic’s done it and, as they so often do, have worked to monetize that asset in a variety of ways (through their consumer site and by licensing), but most of our organizations don’t have the resources of Mayo Clinic.
National Jewish Health in Denver has done it as well. It made sense for them for two reasons – first, they’ve been the #1 ranked respiratory hospital for 15 years so they felt that licensing content from a third-party talking about those areas where they are the world’s top experts seemed to undermine the brand. Secondly, and just as importantly, this approach was possible because they are a specialty facility with a manageable number of conditions to cover. So the task, while large, was far more reasonable an undertaking than what a traditional community health system would need to tackle.