What Should Digital Healthcare Directors Focus on in 2013? Part Two

January 1, 2013

Ask the Expert with Mark S. Gothberg

Mark-GothbergWinners of the 2012 eHealthcare Leader­ship Awards, the com­petition’s 13th year, were recognized in mid-November in Las Vegas during a pres­entation at a healthcare Internet con­ference sponsored by Atlanta-based Greystone.Net. The December issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends listed the winners.

Key provisions of the Affordable Care Act will be in full effect just 12 months from now. Last month’s “Ask the Expert” column discussed what digital professionals need to be working on to prepare for 2014 in the context of five award categories. This month’s column covers the remaining nine award categories.

Best e-Business Site

This award category is evaluated on more than 12 factors. Covered in last month’s column is one of the most important e-business functions, a doctor directory, especially when combined with a request-an-appointment feature. The De­cember column also stressed the need to start developing real-time appointment scheduling and the importance of a strong bill payment function going forward.

A great careers/job search section of the website will be critical in the fu­ture. There is universal consensus that the addition of millions of newly insured patients under the Afford­able Care Act is going to lead to a shortage of physicians, nurses, and other clinical and support staff. Careers sections will have to work hard for the organization. If digital managers are not already partnering closely with HR on this section, now is the time to begin. A worthy effort can be found at www.BarnesJewish.org.

Excellent service sections will be­come increasing important with the influx of a less knowledgeable pa­tient population and an intensified competitive environment. Currently, it is rare for provider sites to have well-designed service sections that fully explain solutions to a consumer’s medical concerns, along with related health content, listings of physicians who specialize in the area, and calls to action.

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