Web Takes … June 2014 Picks

June 1, 2014

Willamette Valley Medical Center

Not too far from Portland, OR, is the city of McMinnville, home of Willamette Valley Medical Center, an 88-bed facility. Maybe the personal, straightforward attitude commu­nicated on the organization’s website wouldn’t work in a big city, but it certainly caught my attention. The positioning statement next to its logo says, “You matter. Amazing care every time,” a consumer prom­ise worthy of any healthcare organi­zation. A few of the global link names are quite different from the norm – Guests instead of Patients & Visitors, Voices instead of Patient Stories, Work for Us instead of Careers. Three of the rotated ban­ners feature statistics on contri­butions to the local economy, uncompensated care and support for the uninsured, and patient visits.

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Two noteworthy sections are fea­tured on the home page. One is called My Amazing Care Story, which features two first-person ac­counts of successful medical care. The other is called You Matter, which promotes two blogs. These efforts come across as something a neighbor might talk to you about.

Reading Health System

This Pennsylvania system, about an hour’s drive northwest of Phila­delphia, takes a very visual approach to its home page. Yes, it has a large banner that rotates key messages. But below this area are four rows with titles of News and Features, Quality, Events, and About Us. Shown in each row are a number of subject headings, which link to full details, and related visuals. This ap­proach takes up most of the page but grabs attention and invites inter­action. It also works because the site has excellent top-of-page expandable global links that direct visitors to most topics of interest.

Another unusual but fine feature is a very large search box, which includes the words “What Are You Looking For?” and a drop-down menu to search the whole site (called “All”).   Six specific areas, of which one is for physician search, are listed in the drop-down menu.

Chester Regional Medical Center

A relatively small hospital in South Carolina, Chester Regional has an impressive website. But what really sparked my interest is its patient portal. It is called My Health Home, which is exactly what a hospital would like its patient portal to be. The promo box on the home page shows a photo of a family and grandparents, thus communicating the full focus of the portal. Before signing up, visitors can view exten­sive FAQs.

Reviewed by Mark S. Gothberg