7 Steps to Select the Right Healthcare CMS

Healthcare consumers expect personalized content, mobile access, & more on the web. If you struggle to keep up, it's time for a new content management system.

Faced with rising costs and accustomed to shopping for the best deals online, today's patients are behaving exactly like the savvy and discerning consumers they’ve become, expecting providers to deliver personalized content, greater cost transparency and access to convenient self-service options available from any device.

If your health system is trying to create 1:1 experiences and struggling with a game plan to modernize your brand online, it may be time for a new content management system (CMS). Here are seven steps to ensure you’re adopting a technology and approach to meet your needs:

1. Write down your goals.
Write down the main goals, such as finding a cohesive design or building conversion environments that work, for implementing a new CMS. These goals will be the foundation for developing a strong business case that ensures buy-in from your C-suite.

2. Assemble a team.
Bring together all parties involved in supporting enterprise-wide goals. While one team may own the CMS budget, other divisions need to ensure it passes technology and integration muster. Other primary users like designers and developers can also provide practical input. By getting buy-in across the organization, provider promotion and web personalization efforts can be integrated with other strategies to set your practice apart.

3. Assess the vendor landscape.
There are three categories of companies that offer CMS, so it is important to compare your needs to their capabilities:

  • Marketing agency – these firms are known for developing eye-catching websites, however don’t typically assist with sustained engagement or conversion performance.
  • Horizontal CMS vendor – these providers focus on delivering robust capabilities, but often do not have significant domain expertise, making it tough to ensure the final product is anchored around personas, consumer journeys and user experiences.
  • Dedicated healthcare expert – these consultants offer a full menu of consulting, design, implementation, post go-live support and ongoing optimization services to create cross-channel experiences and bottom-line results.

4. Conduct demos and onsite presentations.
Invite finalists to demonstrate capabilities to learn how the solution can help meet your organization’s goals. For example, are the user interface, dashboards and analytics intuitive? And what is required to build landing pages, format provider profiles, set up personalization rules, and address other unique business cases?

5. Get to know the team.
Be sure that whichever vendor you select is committed to building a strong partnership. This will play a vital role in delivering an exceptional and highly differentiated consumer experience to meet ever-rising demands.

6. Talk to actual customers.
Speak with customer references and reach out to professional and social networks to gather insights into how the CMS solutions are helping other organizations achieve their goals. Ask about best practices and lessons learned that would be valuable for your CMS implementation.

7. Decide.
While budget is important, you shouldn’t always go for the cheapest option. You can save time, hassles and the expense of potential upgrades or future technology changes if you choose a solution architected to meet both near- and long-term goals. The right CMS will move the engagement needle, leading to increased conversions that deliver a measurable return on investment.

This article was originally featured on MediaPost. To learn more about healthcare CMS selection, implementation, and project success, download our Definitive Guide to Healthcare CMS.