If you make tech decisions in your healthcare organization, you know what's needed to manage data, integrations, and different content sources. But that doesn't mean your content management system (CMS) fully supports your technology needs and wants. Many organizations spend too much time patching together fixes while trying to manage an increasingly complex user experience and multiplying content demands. If that's your experience, you might be feeling the pinch of outgrowing the technology solution you've got and thinking about investing in a new CMS.

Narrowing down your CMS choices depends on what features and benefits mean the most to your organization. But in the varied landscape of CMS options, consider your audience first — the healthcare consumer. Identifying your audience's needs before anything else will help shape your organization's ideal CMS. When you get it right, you'll implement a system that satisfies your need for ROI, is flexible enough to help your marketing team, is secure enough to please IT, and provides the best possible user experience for your consumers.

By uncovering your organization's most pressing issues — whether that's your security infrastructure, integration capabilities, or organization-wide consumer experience goals — you can find the solution that speaks to your organization's distinct operating requirements.

Choosing as a Consumer
One place to start your technology partner evaluation is by thinking about the end user — the consumer. What do healthcare consumers think and worry about? Amid the stress and confusion that navigating healthcare decisions can bring, they appreciate convenience, a hospital website that's easy to navigate, and the trust that you'll keep their information safe. Here are some ways to make these wants a reality:

  • Make It Mobile-Friendly
    No matter the age of your typical user, the vast majority of healthcare consumers (and those involved in their care) want the convenience of interacting on a mobile device. Consumer habits today mean healthcare consumers expect retail-like use and accurate directions, provider bios, and content they can access wherever they are.
  • Build Trust with Security
    Your consumers want to know their information is safe with your organization, but they don't necessarily need the details of how it's done. Cloud-based solutions can help your security structure scale to protect against things like DDoS attacks, but you'll also want a flexible security structure that helps you control access to sensitive data within your organization. Continual monitoring, updates, and backups built-in will also help your solution stay secure.
  • Remove the Frustration
    A mobile-friendly, easily manipulated dashboard helps healthcare consumers with tasks (say a new icon for scheduling flu shots during flu season) and causes less confusion and frustration for your audience. Happy consumers are loyal consumers. A CMS that allows easy access to changing information, without heavy IT involvement, will serve your needs.
  • Integrated Content for Marketing
    Your marketing team needs a CMS that lets them publish digital content on all kinds of platforms, can be easily changed, and doesn't require immediate input from IT to get the job done. The information they push out on social media (videos and content) and website pages needs to be integrated enough so that accurate data is pulled from multiple sources.
  • Security for IT
    Your data needs to be secure and the information being put into your systems needs to be secure. You want a CMS that accommodates dynamic users (inside and outside of your organization) who require varied access to information.
  • ROI for Decision Makers
    Choosing the right healthcare CMS is an investment, and making sure you've got a good partner is important. A CMS that expands with your business, that accommodates changing consumer needs, and that allows IT and marketing to work their magic together and independently, will bring a return on your investment.

In the end, when your healthcare consumer base remains loyal and your team is able to maximize their efforts, you'll know you chose the best product. Having the consumer in mind while making important choices about a healthcare CMS will position your organization for long-term, sustainable success.

Want more tips for evaluating CMS vendors? Read 3 Security Questions to Ask Your Website Vendor.