UCHealth: Turning a Website into a Digital Patient Experience

Creating a Personal Touch

How can a health care system that conducts nearly 3 million emergency and outpatient visits each year deliver a life-improving, personal experience online?

In short, the answer is to anticipate the needs and expectations of patients online before they are communicated. For UCHealth, a Colorado-based health care provider, this is consistent with the core of the organization — improve the lives of every patient through personal connection.

After years of working closely with UCHealth in the digital space, Greystone had unique insights and perspective to contribute in building their updated site. For many, the health care journey starts online and in the spring of 2016, our team set out to deliver a digital first impression with genuine personal connection. What we discovered along the way would change UCHealth’s approach to the digital patient experience entirely.

Better Service Through Better Understanding

To deliver an excellent patient experience, we first had to appreciate what it was like to be a patient. We conducted more than 720 hours of research to understand what it was like to interact with a health care system as a person managing their health and as a person seeking treatment for an illness. This research included focus groups, cross-industry website analysis and user testing to find the most effective design. Our findings were then the driving force behind the new site’s functionality.

Key Research Findings

Get Patients Where They Need to Be

Our research uncovered a main pain point for patients and users was trying to find an appointment. Because UCHealth’s system is complex with hundreds of locations, navigating it is intimidating. This is amplified when a patient is seeking a location for treatment of a serious illness. To help reduce the stress of finding locations, we included geolocation as a primary website navigation tool. Finding facilities and services is easier when the patient’s browser automatically identifies the patient location and suggests nearby facilities.

A Better Menu is a Simple Menu

Like physical navigation, website navigation can be overwhelming for patients. UCHealth provides a vast range of services delivered by hundreds of health care professionals at sites spanning Colorado into parts of Wyoming and Nebraska. It is challenging for a patient to find the right location, service and provider when using traditional website menu-based navigation. This finding led us to create a new way for patients to interact with a health care website and sometimes taking it back to basics is the best solution. To make sure patients could find exactly what they needed, when they needed it, we focused on a simplified menu and mobile responsive design.

Consistency is Key

Once we figured out the right pieces that would deliver the best patient experience, we moved on to putting together the technology that would hold it all together. Deciding which platforms to use is harder for health care systems—the technology has to be secure, HIPAA compliant and easy to manage and maintain at the same time. We chose the optimal platform based on five areas:

  • Scalability
  • Extensibility
  • Security
  • Ease of development/support
  • Robust developer/support ecosystem

With this system in place, UCHealth can add new functions and services without making changes to the entire system. The organization is now able to adapt and respond to changes in technology as well as evolving patient needs quicker and at a lower cost than before.

The new site embodies the future of website design and development—a site that enables UCHealth to understand the people they serve. Patients now drive the functionality and continued improvement of the site, delivering on and adapting to their rapidly evolving needs and expectations.

How You Can Get Started

Does all this sound like an experience you’re looking for? As UCHealth found, delivering the best online experience that drives your business forward starts with understanding where you are and where you want to be. We developed our Digital Discovery process to help our clients understand their market position, customer behavior and current capabilities so they can create an effective digital strategy.

For a limited time, we are offering 15% off your Digital Discovery. Contact us via the form below to get started.