Creating Hospital Websites that Drive Value: M. D. Anderson Case Study


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M. D. Anderson launched a new website in May, 2009 that aligns with key audiences, drives toward organizational goals, and presents a strong brand signal to the marketplace. Join M. D. Anderson's Web Director Alan Powell, along with NavigationArts and Tower Strategies, as they discuss the challenges faced in the redesign and the techniques they used to overcome them, creating a strong site that drives ROI.

Creating Hospital Websites that Drive Value: M. D. Anderson Case Study

  1. 1. M. D. Anderson Case Study: Creating a Hospital Website that Drives Value September 16th, 2009
  2. 2. © Copyright 2009 Agenda & Introductions • M. D. Anderson Case Study in 3 Parts • Creating an effective web strategy and executive facilitiation • User-centered approach to web design • Challenges and lessons learned • Does your current website serve your users and drive organizational goals? 2
  3. 3. © Copyright 2009 M. D. Anderson Cancer Center • Leading academic medical center, located in Houston, Texas • Ranked #1 for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report • Treated 89,000 patients in 2008, including over 29,000 new patients • Nearly 13,000 patients in clinical trials • First in number of grants awarded and total grant funding from National Cancer Institute • 6,000 students and trainees during 2008 • 17,000 employees (including 1,500 faculty) and 1,400 volunteers 3
  4. 4. © Copyright 2009 Tower Strategies Tower Strategies • National healthcare consulting firm • Focused on improving clinical and business processes through comprehensive web strategies • Assist organizations in shifting from an internal view to a customer perspective and drives business transactions • Consultants are clinicians, operating executives and marketers • Technology and vendor agnostic • Seek to leverage an organization's existing investments 4
  5. 5. © Copyright 2009 NavigationArts Navigation Arts • Full-service web consultancy providing expert advisory, design, and development services • Leaders in user experience design • Create experiences that are simple, satisfying, compelling and memorable while achieving business goals • Service areas include: Web Strategy Usability Testing User Research Content Strategy Information Architecture Content Management System Implementation Visual Design and Branding Web and Application Development 5
  6. 6. © Copyright 2009 Evolution of the Web in in Healthcare Evolution of the Web Healthcare Remote Disease and Wellness Management Innovate Interaction, Collaboration and Personalization Lead Self-Service Transactions, Dynamic Content Leverage Static, Published Content Participate 6
  7. 7. © Copyright 2009 Changingthe Face ofof Business Changing the Face Business • Healthcare websites have historically been designed “inside-out” • Few dispute the need to change the focus to the external customer • What do customers want? • Personalization • Self-service • Interaction • What does the organization want? • Reduction in operating costs • Technology integrated into existing processes • Educated, prepared patients 7
  8. 8. Example Transactions Purchase, Donate e- Commerce Family/Friend Cancer Patient Referring MD Staff Referring MD Patient Education Clinical Trials Watch, Rate Videos, Materials Search, Be Alerted News/ Caregiver Research Worried Well Read, Rate and Discuss 8
  9. 9. © Copyright 2009 New Web Governance New Web Governance Enterprise Internet Strategy Steering Team Role: Prioritization, funding and executive oversight DOMAIN TEAMS ROLE: IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO PROJECT REQUESTS, PROJECT COORDINATION 9
  10. 10. © Copyright 2009 Prioritizing Prioritizing 10
  11. 11. © Copyright 2009 Changing to an Enterprise Changing to an Enterprise Governance Governance Model for the Web Model for the Web • Historically departments submitted requests to the web department on an as-needed basis • The web team integrated content, technology, business process to create a customer service • Without an overall strategy – the requests would overflow the web work queue and the site would continue to evolve unevenly • By determining feature requirements by customer, an overall 3-5 year plan was developed based on organizational priorities • The plan priorities were recommended by each of the domain teams and approved by the enterprise governance teams 11
  12. 12. © Copyright 2009 Information Services: Information Services: Moving from What to How Movin from What to How 12
  13. 13. © Copyright 2009 Changing Project Activities Tower’s to an Enterprise Governance Model for the Web • Conducted interviews with executive • Recommended and facilitated a sponsors and business owners to sustainable, objective governance identify business drivers and structure opportunities to enhance processes • Ascertained low-hanging fruit to via the Web create early momentum • Identified 12 customer types • Provided project management and • Documented 202 project ideas lead support for quick-wins • Determined key trends between web • Created a multi-disciplinary team to project requests and identified 7 core manage branding oversight and requests standards for the web • Analyzed existing development and • Conducted a gap analysis support skill-sets and staffing model • Developed a 3-5 year web strategic plan that included transition plan from the current state 13
  14. 14. © Copyright 2009 A Successful Web Experience Balances Successful Web Experience Balances User Needs with Business Goals User Needs with Business Goals NavigationArts conducted an in depth analysis of M. D. Anderson’s environment by conducting the following activities: Interview Stakeholders Evaluate User Needs • HelpDesk • One-on-One Patient Interviews • Patient Services - Learning Center • Care Centers - Hospitality Center • Patient Education • Family Advisory Council • Volunteer Services • New Patient Orientation • Physician Services • Analyzed User Data from Logs • Researchers, Scientists • Web Survey of Current Users • Development • Referring Physician Survey • Trainee and Alumni Affairs • Conducted User Testing • Graduate School • School of Health Sciences 14
  15. 15. © Copyright 2009 Research Using a Multi-pronged Research Using a Multi-pronged Approach Approach It’s important to understand more than just what users tell you about using the web: • It’s essential to understand the processes they must go through, the problems they may encounter or fear they will, the concerns Needs they have in order to make decisions. • It’s also important to understand the Goals way they actually behave, and the information they really seek out. Task s • Usage patterns • Audience types Behaviors • • Popular content Referring Web sites • Web-based Tasks Attitudes • State of Mind • Referring terms • Satisfaction Context • Countries of origin • Understanding 15
  16. 16. © Copyright 2009 Determining Priorities in Wide Audience Determining Priorities in Wide Audience Bas Base NavigationArts concluded that the typical Web site visitor falls onto the following categories of need which defined priority among users: Critical Essential Operational Audiences that have a critical or time Groups who are essential to the M. D. Anderson has a working sensitive need for information who are also organization in terms of awareness and relationship with these audiences and critical to the organization in terms of access. For them, the Web site represents wants to provide targeted content for acquisition and patient care. For them, the information and functionality they need to them. These groups may visit the site Web is likely to be the front door to the better understand and interact with M. D. less frequently or have an indirect need organization and must prioritize content Anderson. The Web site must provide for information and services. and tasks that meet their needs. intuitive pathways for these audiences while not confusing critical audiences. • Potential Patients • Volunteers • Media • New Patients • Donors • Current Employees • Current Patients • Survivors • Retirees • Primary Caregivers • Extended Family and Friends • Dependents • Referring Physicians and their Staff • Potential Employees • Alumni • Students • Suppliers/Vendors • Trainees • Partners/Affiliates • External Health Professionals (Faculty, • Community Educators Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, • International Embassies and Mid-level Providers, Researchers, Governments Scientists) • Public 16
  17. 17. © Copyright 2009 Understanding Audiences’ Mental Models Understanding Audiences’ Mental Models These models define the differences in the way users think about and go about looking for information: Hospital and Treatment Educational and Research Physical Campus and Center Institution Place to Work 17
  18. 18. © Copyright 2009 What Did the Research Tell Us? did The Research Tell Us? We needed to take the emphasis off of the organizational structure and reduce the focus on promotional activities, and focus on creating a user-centric experience and facilitate actions users will want to engage in. • Align content to the user’s mental model of M. D. Anderson. Acknowledge the unique needs of different audiences and provide experiences that address each. • Provide contextual cross-linking, topic focused searches, index lists, and expose critical content throughout the site to facilitate the different ways users go about looking for information. • Recognize that the majority of users do not come through the homepage; An Effective Site Structure: ensure that all pages have appropriate • Has a coherent underlying concept context and avoid dead-ends. • Anticipates users’ questions • Balances breadth and depth • Design an experience on the Web that • Provides more than one way to demonstrates the excellence and expertise get to content of the organization while raising awareness and facilitating access. 18
  19. 19. © Copyright 2009 ProvidingContext through Peripheral Providing Context through Peripheral Vision Vision Each of the primary user groups have some unique information needs and some needs that overlap with other groups. (1) Build brand perception through an understanding of the breadth of the organization. (2) Answer user needs through the depth and relevance of information. 19
  20. 20. © Copyright 2009 The Answer? The Answer? Create equal paths for patients and professionals with a focus on patients and their families through contextual tools and exposed access to critical in-depth information… 20
  21. 21. Access to Business or General Information Primary User Focused Navigation Key Tasks Drive Action – Meets Prioritized Goals of Business and Users Paired with Real Stories Direct Access to Deeper more Contextually Relevant Information 21
  22. 22. © Copyright 2009 Challenges Challenges • Very large site to be migrated/updated • Old site: about 10,000 pages • New site: about 4,500 pages • Vast content: text, images, multi-media, links, etc. • Old department-centric Information Architecture • Didn’t start out as such years ago, but evolved that way • Natural “undertow” from the organization • Natural mental model for staff, but rarely helpful to site visitors • Simultaneous web content management system (WCMS) upgrade/development • Necessary: old WCMS could not support new concepts • Added complexity & difficulty to execution within project timeframe 22
  23. 23. © Copyright 2009 Challenges Challenges • Staff turnover during project • Represents a step backward as team learns new concepts • Recession = constraints on filling vacancies and use of contractors • Multiple vendor relationships • Worked with four agencies at different points • Complementary roles and expertise • Used web-based collaboration tools, frequent conference calls, selected face-to-face meetings • Impact of new URLs on search engine rankings • New Information Architecture = 99.9% new URLs • Predictable short-term fall in search engine rankings • Manageable with mitigation strategy 23
  24. 24. © Copyright 2009 LessonsLearned Lessons Learned • Buy-in and support from top management and governance structure crucial to overcome local resistance to change • Alignment is vital anyway if this is a business strategy • Difficult to convince some staff that departmental IA isn’t best • Leverage when “special interests” argue against the greater good • Build alliances with other key departments • Can’t do it alone • Projects are discussed & debated outside of one department’s range of vision, so need friends and allies • Use of contractors can free up staff to work on the “new” • Pro: builds buy-in by current staff & deeper/faster hands-on experience • Con: time to ramp contractors up & make them effective; adds cost 24
  25. 25. © Copyright 2009 LessonsLearned Lessons Learned • Tight project tracking, including daily status checks on key deliverables • Projects have many moving parts • Needs formal project management PLUS informal approaches • Nagging helps • Maintain flexibility/adaptability during life of the project – things will NOT go according to original plan • Many surprises along the way – lots of “unknown unknowns” • Content isn’t always what you think it is • Technology helps & hinders • Flexibility can also be stressful to project team 25
  26. 26. © Copyright 2009 Results & Next Steps Lessons Learned • New site launched in May 2009 • Post-launch: • Site visits from search engines did drop 28% in month following • Site visits from search engines recovered and now up 12% versus pre-launch • Total search engine rankings up • Patient self-referrals up 14% versus same months in 2008 • Next Steps • Proposed next phase to senior leadership • Got approval for analysis & planning during FY2010 • Goals: “portal” capabilities; personalization/customization; better targeted marketing; new improvements in customer service 26
  27. 27. © Copyright 2009 Questions? Questions? Alan Powell Director of Internet Services M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Sue Sutton, RN, PhD President and CEO Tower Strategies 877-309-0400 Denise Lodge Senior Consultant NavigationArts 703-584-8920 27