By JOHN HALAMKA
Over the past two years, I’ve witnessed a transition in modern website design from plain text and static information to multimedia centric and interactive. I’ve written about the new BIDMC website we implemented to meet patient expectations for a modern website.
Many healthcare organizations I work with are considering content managed, new media, highly interactive web 2.0 sites. I thought it would be useful to describe how we approached the BIDMC website so you can leverage our experience.
Content Management – BIDMC has a great
deal of .NET expertise, so we wanted a content management system that worked well in our .NET/SQL Server 2008 environment. SiteCore has been ideal for us, providing content templates, distributed content management, and publishing workflow in a load balanced, secure, virtualized environment. At HMS we use Drupal and WordPress for content management. They also work well for hosting institutional web sites.
Interactive features – The Corporate Communications folks at BIDMC really wanted to highly improves interactivity. We built and bought the components they needed as follows:
- Blogs – Uses a SiteCore provided blogging module
- Chat – a commercial application called Cute Chat from CuteSoft.
- BIDMC TV (news and information videos produced by BIDMC)- Hosted by BrightCove.
- Medical Edge (videos about innovation produced by BIDMC)- Hosted by BrightCove.
- Podcast Gallery – Hosted on BIDMC servers.
- Health Quizzes – created using a commercial application called SelectSurvey.NET from ClassApps.
- Social Networking – entirely hosted by outside service providers (Facebook/Twitter/You Tube).
- Secure patient web pages for communication with their families – a commercial application provided by CarePages.
- Conditions A-Z – a web-based encyclopedia branded for BIDMC using commercial reference provided by Ebsco.
- Search Engine – We’re using a Google Appliance
Thus, the combination of SiteCore plus purchased interactive applications and externally hosted streaming video has worked very well to provide our patients with an information rich, interactive experience.
I hope this is useful to you as you implement your own hospital websites.