When it comes to your hospital’s digital properties, chances are your team already performs many governance activities. But taking what you do now and creating a sustainable process that will grow with your organization can be challenging. Especially when you consider that your digital empire goes well beyond your main website.
Governance is another word for organizing and managing both strategic and tactical components that help deliver the comprehensive experience your customers expect—online and offline. And it’s the framework for helping your team keep track of all the moving parts.
Before you set out to create a governance framework, it’s helpful to first have a solid understanding of your organizational goals and create a core strategy statement.
Create a core strategy statement
Once you feel comfortable with your overarching priorities, create a core strategy statement that can guide your team through ongoing website development and maintenance.
Sample Core Strategy Statement
Benefit Health System’s Core Strategy Statement
To support Benefit Health System’s goal of creating an exceptional user experience for our current and prospective patients, families, caregivers, and loved ones, our website will offer an accessible, easy-to-use, and appealing system to help people find our services and take action to get the help they need.
We’ll do this by focusing on users in an expandable website that prioritizes services over organizational issues, answers typical questions in engaging ways, connects services with providers and locations, and makes it easy for people to get the care they need as quickly as possible.
This type of clear statement helps everyone in your organization understand the purpose of the website, which means they’re better able to help YOU create and maintain the site because—even before they make requests—they’ll consider if their request is essential and if it supports the mission of the site.
Use the core strategy statement to make decisions
The strategy statement helps with governance by identifying key components, shown in bold in the sample above.
- Create an exceptional user experience …
- Offer accessible, easy-to-use, and appealing options …
- Find services and take action …
- Make sure the site can expand, which means navigation paths don’t lead to dead-ends…
- And so on…
Then, turn your core strategy elements into questions. This makes it easier to evaluate requests for additions or changes to your website by asking: “Does this request allow us to:
- Create an exceptional user experience?
- Help people find our services?
- Focus on users?
- Build an expandable website?
- Answer typical questions in engaging ways?”
If you receive a request to add content and the answer to most or all of the questions is yes, the next step is to respond favorably and move forward.
If some or all of the answers are negative, the next step is probably to reject the request. But that’s an opportunity to keep the communication lines open and show how the current site actually meets the requested need—or continue the conversation to find alternatives that do meet your established core strategy elements.
Creating a strategy statement not only ensures all stakeholders are on the same page, it also helps you stay on-strategy when requests come in. It’s not always easy to put your strategy into words or gain consensus across stakeholder groups. But creating the core strategy statement is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your website remains consistent, valuable, and representative of your organization’s mission.
Learn more about core strategy statements and digital governance by watching our webinar, The Importance of Digital Governance.