Increased Web Traffic Prompts NYC Health + Hospitals to Redesign Website
// By Althea Fung //
New York City was in the crosshairs of COVID-19 more than once, first as the epicenter of the pandemic, and more recently when Omicron struck. In the midst of the crisis, the city’s public hospital system found a way to redesign its website.
With millions of Americans at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to the internet to learn more about the novel virus. That caused a surge in traffic on hospital websites and social media channels. According to a report from Baldwin publishing, one hospital marketing director who manages more than 80 websites reported a 15 percent increase in website impressions and a 650 percent increase in social shares in the first month of the pandemic.
Things were no different at NYC Health + Hospitals, the city’s public hospital system. As New York became the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., web traffic began to soar. By 2021, more than 6.9 million people accessed the website, an increase of 330 percent from 2019.
“When the pandemic hit in 2020, we scrambled to get as much information on the website as soon as possible,” says Margaret Ramirez, senior director of communications and marketing at NYC Health + Hospitals. “Our leadership requested we put our COVID-19 hotline number on the homepage, then when the vaccinations rolled out, we put the vaccination information there. We were putting everything on the homepage, and it just started to look clunky.”
With the significant increase in website traffic to the system’s homepage, an increase in new subscribers to the MyChart electronic medical record system, and hundreds of new pages added to the website in the intervening months, the health system leadership agreed it was time to revamp the system’s website.
“The website begged for a redesign to help patients and the public navigate it better and to be more accessible,” Ramirez says. “So, we decided we needed to clean up the website to address the new traffic and all the new eyes that were looking at the health system for the first time.”
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