Navigating AI in Healthcare: Do’s and Don’ts for Your Website Content

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere—it touches your everyday life in ways you don’t even think about. Public awareness and opinions are still forming on how to use it and how comfortable people feel with it.

One thing is certain: AI will continue to seep into your personal and professional life. There are many AI content-creation tools, such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing Chat, to name a few. We recommend you start planning if, when and how your healthcare organization will allow it to affect your website’s content. It’s tricky once you begin.

Use a Human Approach to Ensure Accuracy & Trust

When taking advantage of AI to help develop your healthcare website content, you must use a careful approach to steer clear of pitfalls and make sure your users get accurate, reliable information. You’ll still need to do discovery and background work to use AI-generated content because AI has limitations. Right now, AI doesn’t:

  • Know your organization’s unique brand voice or competitive differentiators
  • Know your specific website audiences
  • Perceive human emotions and respond with empathetic, tailored content
  • Possess human creativity (it generates content based on patterns and data)
  • Understand and interpret complex medical topics as humans do

Successful web writers must foremost use their human characteristics and talent while considering the best way to benefit from AI strengths.

AI-Generated Content Dos & Don’ts

To use AI responsibly and guide your efforts, follow our dos and don’ts.


  • Do use AI to enhance the user experience – Engage with users and enhance loyalty by allowing AI to help you identify and produce valuable content that answers your users’ healthcare questions. This topic could be its own blog. For example, AI tools can help you create more personalized, valuable content that aligns with your user’s interests and needs. It can help ensure your content is well-written and user-friendly. AI can suggest content formats based on your user’s content consumption patterns, and much more.
  • Do confirm stakeholder buy-in – Get agreement from organizational, marketing or service-line leaders if you’re considering using AI-generated content as a starting point for your website.
  • Do ensure content is helpful, reliable and focuses on people first – Evaluate your AI-generated content using Google Search’s helpful content success qualities: experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T)
  • Do analyze and edit the language – Edit the voice, tone, style and structure of the AI-generated content to represent your organization’s brand. AI-generated content won’t sound like your organization unless you give very specific and detailed prompts.
  • Do verify facts and information – Check the credibility of the AI source and look for gaps, errors or biases in the content. Ask your medical subject matter experts to review any AI-generated content to ensure accuracy.
  • Do adhere to evidence-based medical practices and guidelines – Align AI-generated content with established clinical guidelines and avoid advancing unproven treatments or misleading claims.
  • Do ensure strong content governance practices – Reduce the risks of using AI-generated content by creating policies that establish who’s responsible and accountable for AI output and which rules and regulations determine legal liability.


  • Don’t offer medical diagnoses – Direct website users to seek medical care from healthcare professionals for their symptoms rather than publishing AI-generated content that attempts to diagnose a medical condition and recommend treatment.
  • Don’t replace human experts – Complement your medical experts’ knowledge; don’t replace them with AI-generated content. Human experts are more credible than AI. Use their skills, experience and perspective to create unique content for your website.
  • Don’t engage in discriminatory practices – Ensure that AI-generated content avoids bias based on gender, race, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.
  • Don’t ignore legal requirements – Comply with all applicable laws and regulations concerning healthcare, data privacy, and marketing to avoid legal liabilities and safeguard user data.
  • Don’t promote unproven treatments – Confirm AI-generated content complies with your organization’s ethical guidelines and standards. Avoid sharing medical content that’s vague, unverified or potentially harmful.

Use AI as a Tool

AI is a tool, not a solution to create website content you don’t have time to write. It can be helpful to streamline your work by generating ideas to begin the creative process, creating outlines and providing insight into questions users ask.

AI-driven healthcare website content requires a balance between innovation and accuracy to provide users with trustworthy and valuable information. Don’t take your responsibilities lightly. There are many pitfalls to relying solely on AI for your content strategy. Creating high quality content remains crucial to use the power and reach of these generative platforms, whether you use AI for a first draft or it’s human-created from start to finish.

If you’re already suffering from AI fatigue, contact the content strategists with the form below to learn how we develop user-focused, optimized website content that’s engaging, easy to read and aligns with your organizational strategy.




The Importance of a Good UX Strategy for Healthcare

What Your Healthcare Organization Needs to Know About Implementing and Optimizing the User Experience

User Experience (UX) refers to the overall experience a person has when interacting with a product, system, or service, particularly in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. This includes emotions, perceptions, responses, and behaviors before, during, and after their interaction. 

UX in healthcare is picking up steam, as organizations are starting to realize just how big of a difference it can make to patient outcomes. In healthcare, the goal of good UX design is about making tech easier and more intuitive to use. Patients able to easily access medical information on your site are more likely to seek timely care, and providers and administrators able to easily access information on your intranet are more efficient. 

By ramping up communication, making complex processes easier, and taking full advantage of cutting-edge tech like artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots, healthcare organizations can deliver solutions that really hit the mark, leading to happier and more satisfied users.

How Does Healthcare UX Work?

UI/UX in a healthcare website focuses on creating an interface that is easy to navigate, intuitive, and user-friendly for various stakeholders, such as patients, healthcare providers, and administrators.

Think of the User Interface (UI) as the look and feel of a website. It’s all about the layout, colors, fonts, buttons, images – basically, anything you can see. A good UI design should be a feast for the eyes, with clear, easy-to-read info and a consistent style that just works.

User Experience (UX), on the other hand, is all about interaction. It’s how the information flows, how easy the website is to navigate, how simple tasks are (like making an appointment or looking at medical records), and whether users walk away feeling satisfied.

In healthcare, having a top-notch UI/UX is absolutely key. It allows patients to quickly find doctors or services, book appointments without a hitch, securely access their health records, and get answers fast. For healthcare providers and admins, it means streamlined patient management, hassle-free data entry, and reporting that’s a breeze.

How Does Good UX Benefit Healthcare?

As described above, good UX is about designing and putting into action digital systems and interfaces that make things easier to use, more efficient, and satisfying for users. On that note, when it comes to healthcare, users should feel comfortable, engaged, and guided when interacting with your site. 

After all, a healthcare website doesn’t have the same goal as a social media site— we’re not trying to endlessly engage users, we want to make it easy for them to get information, make decisions, and take action. Healthcare website users are largely patients and providers that need to interact with each other quickly, simply, and efficiently— while being mindful of the patient’s needs throughout. This is why prioritizing the user experience is absolutely essential for healthcare organizations. 

To illustrate this, here’s what a top-notch healthcare UX can do:

Elevate the Patient Experience

UX is a key player when it comes to how patients engage with healthcare systems online, whether it’s a hospital’s website, appointment scheduling platforms, electronic health records (EHRs), or telemedicine services. By making things easy to use and access, we can really boost patient satisfaction and engagement.

Ideally, patients should be able to:

  • Find information about healthcare providers without a hitch
  • Easily access their health records
  • Book or change appointments with ease
  • Have remote medical consultations
  • Receive reminders for upcoming check-ups or medications

Simplify Tools for Healthcare Providers

When the system is easier to use, healthcare providers can focus more on taking care of patients and less on wrestling with clunky digital platforms. Good UX can streamline several processes for providers through their organization intranet, including:

  • Telemedicine platforms
  • Digital tools
  • Administrative tasks
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Patient management, and help reduce burnout

Optimize Tasks for Administrators

Administrators often juggle a ton of daily operations, which can get overwhelming. A healthcare intranet defined with good UX can help cut down on backlogs and keep things running smoothly.

For administrators, streamlined intranet UX can help:

  • Manage scheduling, billing, and reporting more efficiently
  • Cut down on data backlogs
  • Save costs
  • Boost operational efficiency

In a nutshell, UX in healthcare is all about making things simpler, boosting user satisfaction, and ramping up efficiency. All this leads to better health outcomes and improved patient care. The end goal? A smooth, positive interaction between users and the healthcare system for increased conversions. In this way, it’s the healthcare organization that ultimately benefits most. 

Potential Downsides of Healthcare UX

While there are many benefits to designing user-focused sites, creating a strategy that meets both user expectations as well as organizational goals and objectives isn’t an easy task. Every organization is unique. That’s why it’s imperative that you understand your needs and limitations as you build your UX strategy. 

Here are just a few items for you to consider:

✘ One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Each healthcare provider, patient, and administrator has unique needs and ways of interacting with digital systems. A UX that doesn’t adapt to these varied needs might not deliver the expected results. 

For example, elderly patients on your website might need larger fonts and simpler navigation, while younger users might prefer a more feature-rich interface. The key is to create a UX design that can adapt to serve diverse user groups.

✘ Overcomplication

In a bid to make a UX strategy all-encompassing, sometimes the design becomes overcomplicated, leading to confusion rather than simplification. Let’s take appointment booking, for instance. A system that requires users to navigate through multiple pages or fill out extensive forms to book an appointment might make your administrators happy, but might deter users from using the service. A good UX design should always aim to make tasks simpler and more intuitive.

✘ Neglecting User Feedback

Failing to incorporate user feedback into the design and implementation stages can be a significant pitfall. Users provide firsthand insights into usability, so neglecting their input can result in a UX that doesn’t truly serve their needs. Continuous user feedback should be an integral part of UX development, helping designers make necessary tweaks and improvements.

✘ Poor Integration

A website or intranet that does not integrate well with existing systems can create headaches for users. For example, if an EHR system doesn’t effectively integrate with a hospital’s existing billing system, it might result in inconsistent data or increased manual work. So, it’s vital to your UX strategy that you choose systems that seamlessly integrate with your current tech infrastructure.

✘  Failing to Update

With rapid tech advancements, a healthcare design that isn’t regularly updated can quickly become obsolete. Staying on top of the trends ensures your UX strategy stays on par with technological advancements and evolving user needs. For instance, a design that doesn’t adapt to integrate newer technologies like AI-driven chatbots might lose its effectiveness over time.

Keep in mind, your organization may have entirely different needs than another, or even entirely different goals from previous years! Either way, this information is intended to help you determine which solutions and strategies will work best for your organization. 

10 Ways to Elevate Your Healthcare UX Strategy

Now that we’ve gone over all the finer details you’ll need to consider, let’s discuss the next most important topic— how to get started. 

Implementing a good UX strategy in healthcare is like piecing together a puzzle; each piece must fit perfectly to create a seamless picture. Here are 10 ways a healthcare organization can craft and implement a user-centric approach:

#1. Conduct User Research

Start by talking to the actual users – patients, medical staff, administrators. Hold interviews, surveys, or focus groups to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This information becomes the foundation of your strategy, ensuring that you build a design that resonates with the people who will use it.

#2. Create User Personas

Based on your research, create detailed user personas representing different user types. Think of them as fictional characters that embody real-world users’ characteristics. They’ll guide design decisions by keeping you focused on the people behind the screens.

#3. Map the User Journey

Sketch out the various paths that users might take through the system. It’s like mapping a hiking trail, showing the twists and turns that lead to the final destination. This visualization helps in designing intuitive and logical flows that guide users effortlessly.

#4. Ensure HIPAA Compliance

In healthcare, protecting patient privacy is not just ethical; it’s the law. Ensuring that your UX design complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) means building robust security measures into the user experience. Think of it as constructing a fortress that guards precious treasures— in this case, the sensitive personal and medical information of patients. 

Collaborate with legal and security experts to understand the specific regulations, and weave them into every layer of design, from data collection forms to information display. Regular audits and ongoing education for the team can further bolster compliance. It’s not just about avoiding legal hassles; it’s about building trust and confidence that the information shared within the system is treated with the utmost care and respect.

#5. Ensure Accessibility and Inclusiveness

Design for everyone, including those with disabilities. Implement standards like high contrast text and easy-to-read fonts. Test with various assistive technologies. Think of it as building ramps along with stairs; it makes sure everyone can get where they need to go.

#6. Incorporate Health Literacy Principles:

Use language and visuals that are easy to understand, especially for those without medical backgrounds. Provide explanations for medical terms, use simple language, and break down complex ideas. It’s like translating a scientific paper into a magazine article – more accessible and engaging.

#7. Test with Real Users

Invite users to test prototypes. Watch how they interact, ask for their feedback, and make necessary adjustments. Think of it as a dress rehearsal before the big show; it helps you iron out the wrinkles and put on a flawless performance.

#8. Implement Iteratively

Build and launch in stages, regularly revisiting and updating based on user feedback. This continuous improvement cycle ensures that the UX stays fresh and aligned with users’ evolving needs. It’s gardening rather than architecture; continual care and cultivation make things flourish.

#9. Provide Omnichannel Support

Offer assistance through various channels like chatbots, email support, or phone lines. It ensures users have help when they need it, no matter their preferred method of communication. It’s like having a friendly neighbor who’s always there when you need a hand.

#10. Measure and Analyze

Implement analytics tools to track user behavior, satisfaction, and other key metrics. Regularly review and interpret this data to make informed decisions. It’s the compass guiding you on the journey, making sure you’re heading in the right direction.

By taking these steps, a healthcare organization can create a UX strategy that feels less like a trip to the DMV and more like a visit to a favorite local cafe. It’s warm, inviting, and centered around the needs of those it serves. A user-centric approach isn’t just good practice; it’s the right thing to do. Because when it comes down to it, healthcare UX isn’t about pixels and code; it’s about people and care.

Have Questions?

Whether you’re just after a general resource for healthcare UX or you think your organization’s UX could use an update, Geonetric can help!

As the digital engine behind 500+ websites and intranets, we’re uniquely placed to help your organization walk through the digital front door

Click Here, to learn how we can take your website from ‘meh’ to marvelous, today!


HIPAA Guidance Series: General Overview

In December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance relating to marketing trackers by HIPAA Covered Entities which is the cause for research and introspection on how and where these technologies are appropriate to use within healthcare digital properties. While many healthcare organizations are adapting to the new guidance, many are still struggling to understand its implications and what they need to do to adapt.

The recent joint letter from HHC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent to 130 organizations appears reflect their frustration at the slow pace of change resulting from the December guidance and clarifies their expectation that Covered Entities and others dealing with similar sensitive health information are expected to act now to in response to the guidance rather than wait for greater clarity.

This post is the first in a series explaining the guidance, challenges, options, and the areas of uncertainty that have been introduced by HHS.

First, Disclaimers:HIPAA compliance in healthcare marketing regulations
I’m not a lawyer.
Geonetric is not a law firm.
I’m sharing my insights and advice but nothing that I share here should be considered legal advice.


Interpretations of the December HIPAA guidance vary widely and there is no single agreed standard for compliance. Every organization should seek to establish its own understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable given HIPAA rules today and likely redefinition and expansion of privacy laws inside and outside of healthcare in the future.

Defining PHI in a Digital Marketing Context

HIPAA defines Protected Health Information (PHI) as a subset of health information that (1) Is created or received by a healthcare provider, health plan, employer, or healthcare clearinghouse; and (2) Relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of healthcare to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of healthcare to an individual; and (i) That identifies the individual; or (ii) With respect to which there is a reasonable basis to believe the information can be used to identify the individual.

In addition, the information needs to be stored electronically at some point during its lifecycle. PHI cannot be shared with organizations or individuals unless they are part of the covered entity or a business associate and only if they have a valid business reason. In addition, PHI can only be used for health promotion purposes, not for marketing.

This definition of PHI is very clear for something like a patient history in an electronic medical record but has always been pretty abstract for most of what we deal with in the realm of digital marketing. When one person sends another a “get well soon” eCard through a covered entity’s website, is that disclosing PHI? If someone interacts with an online banner ad that you’ve created, have you disclosed something by virtue of the information’s capture in an online ad network? If you allow a “schedule appointment” link on a Google My Business (GMB) page, is that a breach?

Can a meaningless ID be used to associate the activity of an anonymous user across sessions? Is a visitor looking at a page of content on your website sufficient to imply the person has that condition? – and so on.

Just as I asked in this blog post from 2016, we still are in need of a better definition of PHI! Where Guidance Fits into the Broader Privacy Conversation

Where Guidance Fits into the Broader Privacy Conversation

This new guidance highlights the changing conversation around privacy, including recent investigative reporting relating to Facebook’s Meta Pixel and new and proposed laws relating to privacy in Europe, California, Utah, and elsewhere. The result is a web of increasingly disjointed, inconsistent privacy laws that are becoming more and more difficult for organizations to navigate.

We are entering an environment where the perception of privacy is changing, leading to greater scrutiny of privacy practices. Things that have always been acceptable in the past need to be reexamined in light of a tighter privacy climate. And there is no single approach that is likely to adequately address all the different philosophies and approaches that may emerge in the future.

Every healthcare organization should be thinking about how, going forward, it will use marketing trackers or other technologies that act in a similar manner to what we traditionally think of as marketing trackers.

The guidance states that it is not changing anything in the law but, rather, seeks to clarify how regulated entities should view these technologies within the lens of HIPAA.

An analysis from the University of Pennsylvania tells a different story, with 98.6% of healthcare organizations sharing data with third-party trackers, it’s clear that the standards presented in the guidance vary meaningfully from the working definitions that the industry has been using for what is and isn’t in context for HIPAA! The guidance does not have the force of law and, unfortunately, by issuing this guidance in the way that they have, HHS has introduced as many questions as they’ve answered.

The new guidance looks at the question in three contexts – mobile apps, authenticated web pages (most commonly within patient portals), and unauthenticated web pages. I will focus on unauthenticated web pages here, as that’s the scope of consumer web properties that we work with at Geonetric and is the area with the greatest confusion and difference of opinion.

What the Guidance Changes

The guidance changes several items from the working definition that the industry has been using for PHI in the context of digital marketing:

IP address is an identifying attribute:

HIPAA compliance in healthcare marketing security

– There are several factors that clearly identify the individual and these must be handled with caution. These include email, name, address, phone number, SSN, medical record number, and others. While IP address has always been one of the “18 HIPAA Identifiers” there are technical reasons why an IP address is often not sufficient to connect an online interaction to an individual, so most organizations haven’t traditionally treated it as such. The guidance clarifies that the IP should be an identifying attribute for the purposes of HIPAA.

All website visitors are presumed to be patients:

– The guidance goes on to share that we must presume that any search or action on a regulated entity’s website “relates to the individual’s past, present, or future health or health care or payment for care”.HIPAA compliance in healthcare marketing tracking While this should be a fun argument to pull out next time you’re debating the ROI of web operations with your CFO, we know that the reality is that people visit our online properties for many reasons, and many are not currently and likely never will be patients of our organizations. Nevertheless, the guidance is clear that we must treat them as if they were.

A Range of Reactions

Through our own analysis along with my conversations with dozens of healthcare organizations and their compliance and legal teams, I’ve found a wide range of interpretations of the new rules. The most restrictive interpretations of the new guidance take the position that any user engaging with your digital properties must be assumed to be someone who has received or will receive healthcare services from the covered entity.

It is also stipulated that almost any situation involving an IP address and the URL of a page that a consumer is visiting constitutes PHI, even when viewing an unauthenticated web page.
Other experts latch on to the guidance’s insistence that tracking technologies generally do not have access to PHI from users browsing activities on unauthenticated web pages. It suggests that there is some threshold at which this browsing activity becomes high risk. In the absence of clear direction on where that threshold is, it remains unclear when this data would constitute PHI and, therefore, that we need not consider it to be covered by HIPAA.

It’s my hope that we’ll eventually get clearer, more actionable guidance in the future, either from HHS itself, or as the result of one of the many lawsuits currently facing healthcare organizations in relation to these issues. Even though the guidance doesn’t carry the force of law, it seems prudent to act today to mitigate these risks.

Assessing Risk

Some digital marketing tactics represent a level of risk that nearly every healthcare organization would view as unacceptable. For example, issues with marketing tracking technologies came to light through an investigative report from The Markup in 2022.

Facebook’s tracking technology has an option that improves its ability to connect online interactions back to the individuals engaging with your site for better measurement and to optimize ad performance on Facebook/Meta’s family of websites and apps. With the Attribution Option enabled, the tracking code collected additional information from form submissions and sent that information to Facebook which could include sensitive identification or health-related information.

Likewise, the use of many of these technologies within patient portals or other authenticated online experiences applications presents a high degree of risk in the absence of additional privacy steps.

The guidance gets more confusing when looking at the use of tracking technologies on Covered Entities’ unauthenticated web pages, stating that these “…generally do not have access to individuals’ PHI”.

However, it goes on to suggest that there are some situations where such interactions may include PHI, such as viewing information on a specific condition or symptom, searching for a provider, or making an appointment. Since this is what most healthcare websites are focused on, it’s unclear what threshold must be cleared to present this risk.

Moreover, it is still unclear when the act of reading a page of information or looking at a service or provider page meets the definition of PHI, but this certainly represents more risk today than it did previously. Many healthcare organizations now consider data to be PHI when only a consumer’s IP address and URL are known. That said, any tools that touch live consumer or patient traffic or receive information about such interactions must be carefully considered.

What to Do from Here

Every healthcare organization needs to engage in a risk assessment process related to these issues. Some best practices might include:

  • Catalogue every element of your marketing technology stack and review the information that it has access to, if you have a BAA in place with that vendor, and what risk mitigation steps you need to take with them.
  • Catalogue every point in your websites, patient portals, apps, and other digital properties where information is sent to third parties. Review each of these as you do the other parts of the marketing tech stack, above.
  • Look at each of your marketing tools and partners as your organization does for other software vendors. Most healthcare organizations have a governance process for software vendors used by the IT organization, but many have avoided using that same process for their marketing vendors.
  • Review and update the privacy policies on your websites, patient portals, apps, and other digital properties.


If you need assistance with this process regarding your compliance goals and SST, Geonetric can help. Contact us for a personalized compliance assessment today!


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HIPAA Guidance Series— Getting to Compliant Analytics

When Health and Human Services dropped new guidance for healthcare organizations’ use of marketing tracking technologies in December 2022, many organizations first thought about their use of advertising tracking pixels like those provided by Facebook/Meta or Google ads. The new guidance radically changed the working definitions that healthcare organizations across the country used to determine what was in or out of scope for HIPAA. As a result, the guidance changes the rules for many commonly used marketing technologies.

That includes web and digital analytics platforms including the nearly ubiquitous Google Analytics (GA).
This post is part of a series. For more information about the changes proposed in the HHS guidance, see HIPAA Guidance Overview.

First, Disclaimers:HIPAA compliance in healthcare marketing regulations
I’m not a lawyer. Geonetric is not a law firm. I’m sharing my insights and advice but nothing that I share here should be considered legal advice.

Interpretations of the December HIPAA guidance vary widely and there is no single agreed standard for compliance. Every organization should seek to establish its own understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable given HIPAA rules today and likely redefinition and expansion of privacy laws inside and outside of healthcare in the future.


Why Analytics?

As we discussed in the first installment in this series, the December guidance makes significant changes to terminology the healthcare industry uses to determine what’s in and out of context for HIPAA. These definition changes go far beyond tracking pixels for marketing purposes.

Essentially, anytime that we have health consumers involved, something as simple as an IP address and URL can be problematic from a HIPAA perspective. Web analytics certainly checks those boxes. Although many analytics platforms like GA don’t allow you to see the data on an identified individual level, the platforms do receive and typically store the data in this way.

What About GA4?

Google Analytics has been the most popular web analytics solution both inside and outside healthcare for many years.
Google has recently started sunsetting its Universal Analytics product in favor of its new GA4 platform. The investment in GA4 was made for several reasons but the urgency of moving users to the new platform and ending support for UA all comes down to General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) — the European Union’s comprehensive privacy legislation.

You might think a GDPR-compliant platform would cover the bases for almost any privacy laws out there. Unfortunately, a complex patchwork of laws from different countries and US states interpret privacy differently, creating a messy mix of rules that make it far harder for vendors to provide solutions that are compliant for all variations.

GDPR and HIPAA approach the problem of securing and protecting sensitive personal data from very different places. GDPR looks at how data is stored and processed. HIPAA is more focused on how data is transmitted or disclosed. For GDPR compliance, GA4 has a sophisticated toolset for de-identifying the information that it receives before it’s stored or processed.

Unfortunately, that approach won’t work under HIPAA.

The December guidance makes that clear:

“… it is insufficient for a tracking technology vendor to agree to remove PHI from the information it receives or de-identify the PHI before the vendor saves the information. Any disclosure of PHI to the vendor without individuals’ authorizations requires the vendor to have a signed BAA in place and requires that there is an applicable Privacy Rule permission for disclosure.”

What Options Does That Leave Us?

The good news is that there are a few alternatives for how to deliver web analytics securely:

  • Host it yourself — There are a few commercial products out there that will allow you to host the analytics solution yourself either on your own physical servers or in a HIPAA-compliant cloud environment. The good news is that these are full-featured analytics solutions with no compromises. The bad news is that, in addition to licensing fees for the platform, you (or your IT department) have the costs and headaches of licensing and hosting of these solutions yourself, so few organizations are opting to go this way.
  • Use a hosted analytics platform that will sign a BAA — most web analytics platforms these days are only available as software as a service (SAAS). A few will sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). The cons here are cost (as these solutions can be quite spendy), and you’ll need to recreate all the triggers, events, and conversions that you previously had in Google Analytics. It’s a lot of work, but Geonetric can help you work through this approach.
  • Use a privacy screen with Google Analytics — There are a few options for platforms that will intercept the requests from the end-user’s browser before they go on to GA4. The privacy screen lives in a HIPAA-compliant hosting environment and anonymizes the information before sending it on to GA4.

When Does This Change Need to Happen?

By positioning these changes as guidance rather than acknowledging the significant changes that are presented here, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) bypassed the normal process by which regulatory changes occur such as open comment periods and implementation deadlines. HHS is essentially saying that these have always been the rules and those not following these rules should do so as soon as possible!

In fact, a recent joint memo from HHS and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) seems intended to urge organizations to move more quickly to change their approach to tracking in light of the new guidance. While many healthcare organizations have been unsure of how to proceed due to the vagueness of the guidance and have been hoping for additional details following the original guidance in December, it seems likely that enforcement actions will be coming before additional clarity.


If you need assistance with this process regarding your compliance goals and SST, Geonetric can help. Contact us for a personalized compliance assessment today!


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HIPAA Guidance Series: MarTech Stack

Healthcare organizations understand that there are steps that they need to take in response to the HHS guidance regarding marketing tracking technologies in December 2022. Unfortunately, for some organizations, their compliance issues may be far larger than they .

This post is part of a series. For more information about the changes proposed in the HHS guidance, see HIPPA Guidance Overview

First, Disclaimers:HIPAA compliance in healthcare marketing regulations
I’m not a lawyer.
Geonetric is not a law firm.
I’m sharing my insights and advice but nothing that I share here should be considered legal advice.

Interpretations of the December HIPAA guidance vary widely and there is no single agreed standard for compliance. Every organization should seek to establish its own understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable given HIPAA rules today and likely redefinition and expansion of privacy laws inside and outside of healthcare in the future.

What’s the Trouble?

As we discussed in our previous installments, the December guidance makes significant changes to definitions the healthcare industry uses to determine what’s in and out of context for HIPAA. Essentially, anytime that we have health consumers involved, something as simple as an IP address and URL can be problematic from a HIPAA perspective.

As you can imagine, this can include a lot of moving pieces. The guidance calls out advertising tracking pixels from companies like Google Ads and Facebook/Meta (although we’ll talk more about these later in the series), and we’ve already talked about the challenges of web analytics but there’s more to consider: hosting providers, firewall vendors, load balancers, audit logging tools, backup and recovery tools, email marketing tools, marketing automation platforms, call tracking vendors, advertising agencies…the list goes on and on.

And at the center of the marketing technology stack are web content management systems (CMS) and digital experience platforms (DXP). Some tools will offer easy answers. Maybe the tool is only used with donors or providers and isn’t used with patients or health consumers. Perhaps the vendor in question has a compliance program in place and will sign a BAA for the solutions that you are using. In many cases, however, the reality of the new guidance is that some common platforms and tools simply aren’t going to be options for healthcare organizations or their partners moving forward.

The CMS and DXP Challenge

The new guidance means that any system touching live health consumer traffic is in context for HIPAA.  The platform that your websites run on is on the top of that list. Unfortunately, many of the common platforms in use by healthcare organizations today aren’t compliant and won’t sign a BAA. While that may have been appropriate when you first licensed that platform, this is no longer the case today.

The simplest strategy, then, is to work with a HIPAA-compliant solution that will sign a Business Associate Agreement, like Geonetric’s VitalSite™ CMS.

At the time of this writing, many of the most common web management platforms in use by hospitals today including SiteCore, Acquia, and Optimizely won’t sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).

SAAS Challenges

One way to use some of these tools in a complaint manner is to host them yourself on servers you own or through a HIPAA-compliant hosting solution (or work with a partner who is willing to do this for you). Unfortunately, since the industry seems to favor multi-tenant Software as a Service (SAAS) or other similar architectural models, many popular components of these software suites are only available in some sort of vendor-hosted option.

That said, even if you generally trust the vendor that you use, the law says that they need to sign a BAA if they have a chance of encountering PHI through the work that they’re building with you. In addition, many of the vendors that they work with (cloud platforms, firewalls, etc.) then need to sign subcontractor BAAs as well. This may involve different versions of those platforms, special installations, or other changes from their normal solutions. If your vendor isn’t committing to a BAA with you then odds are they haven’t secured those subcontractor BAAs with all the other tools and partners that they work with.

The Open-Source Conundrum

Compliance challenges for organizations utilizing open-source platforms can be even more complicated.  One of the great benefits of open-source platforms like Drupal and WordPress is the large number of easily available components, plug-ins, templates, and code that are available for little or no cost. As another bonus, there are HIPAA-compliant hosting options for these tools. Like any of component of your marketing technology stack, it’s critically important that any code or components that are created by third parties are closely scrutinized to understand what data is captured, where it’s stored, where it might be sent, and who has access. Unfortunately, many of these free or inexpensive components are difficult to assess from a HIPAA compliance standpoint which may make these solutions far less appealing in the future.

It’s Time for Vendor Management

Every Covered Entity and Business Associate needs to run a risk assessment for their organization and part of that process is looking at the entire marketing technology stack. For each tool, platform, and vendor on that list, you need to look critically at the data that it touches, where and how it’s being used, if you have (or can get) a BAA in place with that vendor, and then make some decisions about how (or if) you’ll work with them in the future. It’s a lot of work, but it’s necessary to address the changes in the new HHS guidance.

It is important to understand all the components that you’re utilizing from a particular vendor and then scrutinize each. It may be possible to self-host your web CMS, but the search function for your website be through a third-party service. Many advanced DXP capabilities such as Customer Data Platforms, personalization tools, and shiny new AI-powered capabilities may not be available in a HIPAA-safe manner.

If you need assistance evaluating these tools or finding healthcare-safe alternatives, Geonetric can help. Contact us for a personalized compliance assessment today!


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Optimizing Content Management for Healthcare

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

content management system (CMS) is a software application or a set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. The goal of a CMS is to provide an intuitive user interface that enables users to build and modify web page content. Each CMS provides a web publishing tool that allows one or more users to publish live updates on the web.


Essentially, at its core, a CMS generally features two major components:

The content management application (CMA):

This allows non-technical users to add, modify, and remove content from a website without the intervention of a webmaster.

The content delivery application (CDA):

This is the backend, technical process that takes the content input from the CMA, stores it properly and then makes it visible to the visitors of the site.

In other words, with a CMS, you don’t need to write code from scratch to create a website; you can instead use the CMS’ built-in functionalities and templates to construct your site.

How Does a Content Management System Work?

A CMS can have several functions including content creation, content storage, workflow management, and publishing. In most cases, a CMS is used for web content management (WCM) or enterprise content management (ECM). The latter includes all corporate documents and digital assets. 

Additionally, a CMS can function as a digital asset management system containing documents, movies, pictures and more!

To illustrate these processes, let’s take a look at the basic CMS workflow:

  1. Content Creation: A user can create content through the CMS interface without needing to understand HTML, CSS, or other web technologies. The internal CMS editor lets users create content much in the same way they would a document through a word processor, like Pages or Microsoft Word. 
  2. Content Storage: Once the content is created, it gets stored in a database. This could be text, images, videos, and any other type of web content. The CMS allows the user to manage this stored content. 
  3. Content Editing and Management: The CMS provides tools for users to edit and manage content. Users can update or revise this content at any time, and the CMS keeps track of revisions, often allowing users to revert to previous versions if necessary. This is especially useful in environments where multiple people have editing access. 
  4. Content Publishing: Once the content is finalized, the CMS allows the user to publish the content, making it available for viewing on the web. This can be done immediately, or be scheduled for a later date. 
  5. Content Presentation: A CMS usually includes templates for displaying content. These templates determine how the content looks when viewed on the website. 
  6. SEO and Other Features: Many CMS platforms also include features for search engine optimization (SEO), social media integration, and other web marketing tools. 

In short, a CMS can help organizations create, manage, and publish content on the web without needing any specific tech savvy. The point of this software is to make website management more accessible to a broad range of users. 

Potential Downsides of a CMS

Unfortunately, no software solution is perfect. What works for one organization might not work for another, and remember, not every company has staff and resources to self-manage their online content (more on this later). 

While a CMS offers numerous benefits, there are potential downsides that healthcare organizations should consider. These include:

Implementation Cost

While a CMS can save costs in the long run by reducing the need for technical staff, the initial cost of implementation can be high, especially for premium, enterprise-level systems. These costs include purchasing the CMS itself, customizing it to fit the organization’s needs, training staff to use it, and ongoing maintenance and upgrades.


While a CMS aims to simplify content management, some systems can be complex and require training to use effectively. Staff may need to spend time learning the system, which can be a challenge in busy healthcare environments.

Customization Limitations 

While many CMS platforms offer a wide range of features and customizations, they might not fit every specific need of a healthcare organization. Sometimes, these systems may need to be heavily customized or supplemented with additional tools to meet particular requirements, which could lead to additional costs and complexity.

Potential for Security Breaches

Healthcare organizations deal with sensitive data that needs to be protected. Despite the security features provided by most CMS platforms, no system is completely immune to breaches. If not properly configured and managed, a CMS could potentially expose sensitive information

Updates and Maintenance

A CMS needs regular updates and maintenance to ensure it stays secure, runs efficiently, and keeps up with changing needs and technologies. This can require significant time and resources

Performance Issues

If not properly optimized, a CMS can slow down a website’s load times, which can negatively affect user experience. In addition, if the organization’s hosting service can’t handle the amount of data or traffic the website receives, it may experience outages or slow performance

Compliance Challenges

Healthcare organizations are subject to a variety of regulations, such as HIPAA in the U.S. While a CMS can assist with compliance, it also introduces an additional system that needs to be managed and monitored to ensure ongoing compliance.

Even though these potential downsides exist, they can often be mitigated with proper planning, training, and management. The benefits of using a CMS in a healthcare organization often outweigh these potential disadvantages. The question then becomes: what do you need to know to get the most of this platform?

10 Things You Want in a Healthcare Content Management System

From medical clinics to large hospitals and health systems, different provider organizations have different needs and wants when it comes to content management systems (CMS). That said, there are a handful of CMS features that are particularly crucial in today’s healthcare climate.

For instance, is your organization equipped to dedicate staff and resources for a self-managed CMS platform, or would a full-service management solution work best? These are questions that should be addressed before a decision can be reached. Also, doing the research to ensure you are choosing the correct CMS for your healthcare organization is no easy task.

To help you with your search, here are 10 things you should look for in an effective healthcare content management system:

#1 | Gives You More Control

Your team needs to create new content, launch campaigns, and maintain your site quickly and efficiently. Choose a CMS that has an intuitive, easy-to-use content editor and simple workflow that allows your marketing team to move quickly and share the work while maintaining control over brand standards.

#2  | Keeps Your Information Secure

Healthcare organizations are held to high standards when it comes to security. Make sure the solutions you are evaluating incorporate high-level security. Your CMS needs to incorporate high-level security that includes multi-factor authentication, cloud hosting, and a web application firewall among other things. It should control access to content, use a role-based security model, automatically encrypt sensitive information, and meet HIPAA compliance standards.

#3  | Provides a User-Friendly Experience

A good web experience helps consumers find the content they need. That’s why a CMS optimized for the healthcare industry is important. If you select a CMS that has a built-in provider directory, locations directory, services directory, and event directory, you’ll save time and effort of building and maintaining these important directories.

#4  | Includes Healthcare-Specific Integrations

Your website is only one piece of your ever-evolving MarTech stack. When selecting a CMS, make sure it integrates with your internal systems, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) system or marketing automation platform, as well as the technology vital to your consumer experience, such as your provider database, credentialing system, ratings, and reviews, wait times, self-scheduling, and online payments. Integrations are important to create the best possible experience on your site while reducing your marketing team’s maintenance efforts.

#5 | Improves Your SEO Efforts

Look for a CMS that aids your SEO efforts with built-in functionality — like friendly URLs and page title — for content like providers and care locations. Your CMS should also help to further boost SEO by automatically creating healthcare-specific markup.

#6  | Adheres to Healthcare Regulations

Ensure compliance with privacy and accessibility guidelines. For healthcare organizations, managing privacy, ensuring HIPAA compliance, and creating an accessible site are critical requirements. Not every CMS is up to the task. Be sure you choose one that enables you to easily create, manage, and deploy online forms and enables workflows that follow HIPAA-compliant best practices. It should automatically encrypt sensitive information and create audit trails. It also needs to enable accessibility compliance, allowing you to offer an inclusive web experience for all visitors and meet WCAG and Section 508 guidelines.

#7 | Evolves and Innovates

Be sure to invest in a system that is being invested in, especially in this fast-moving digital world where small industry changes can have big impacts. Choose a system from a vendor that stays on top of industry trends and continually upgrades. And make sure to understand how much of your work is required to keep plug-ins, themes, and customizations working.

#8  | Connects With Customers

Your site visitors are the most important users of your site. Each CMS has different capabilities when it comes to ensuring they find the information they need. Choose a CMS that enables you to create and maintain intuitive site navigation without developer support. And make sure it allows you to interconnect content, such as listing providers on related services pages, so visitors can find relevant information, while minimizing maintenance for your team.

#9  | Supports Your Growth

Today’s healthcare marketers need a platform that will accommodate the acquisition of a new medical clinic or hospital on the fly. From easily adding new doctors to folding in new facilities to managing multiple sites under one platform with one login, make sure your CMS is scalable and offers multi-site support

#10  | Is a Long-Term Solution

Feel confident in your decision. Choose a partner with deep healthcare knowledge that is focused on digital experience strategies optimized for the unique needs of the healthcare industry.


Just remember, the most common alternative to using a CMS-centric approach is to build websites using standard tools like HTML and CSS, with perhaps a sprinkle of ASP or PHP. The early stages of design and development are quite similar for sites, whether they use a CMS or not. For any modifications, you’d need to either possess or pay for HTML expertise.

However, there’s a huge pool of individuals and firms with this expertise ready to assist, which isn’t always the case with even the most popular CMS platforms:

Which Healthcare CMS is Right for My Organization

Ultimately, every healthcare organization is different, with its own needs, patient-base, and challenges. It’s essential to take a thorough inventory of all of the above to ascertain which solutions align most. Do you need a self-guided system, or should you engage a third party expert to handle the heavy lifting for you?

Most healthcare management systems, especially for large healthcare providers, are delivered by third-party solutions: that is, by companies who take on the task of content management for their healthcare clients. With the software being served up on-demand via the cloud and not through internal systems, healthcare providers need to be extra cautious about protecting the privacy and security of patient health information. So, when choosing a SaaS vendor for their healthcare management system, providers need to get clear answers to some crucial questions, like:

  • How do you keep our data safe?
  • Where is our data stored?
  • How do your practices help us comply with HIPAA?

Once you have all these details hammered out, you’re best-placed to choose a solution that works best for your organization! If any of this information seems daunting, don’t worry, you don’t have to overhaul your system alone. 

Geontric is here to help! With over two decades as an industry-leader in digital healthcare management and design, we can walk you through your ideal system, every step of the way. 

Call us today for a FREE quote!


Four Steps to Convince Leadership Your Healthcare Website Needs Improving

Step One: Dig into the Data

Before you go to your leadership team, know where you stand by creating a snapshot of the need for a change with your website. Start with research to define your website’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as what factors internally and externally affect it. There are a variety of tools that will help you extract the information you need to prepare your case for a website intervention. The four we recommend are:

  • Website analysis – Use valuable data from your website. Analyze your metrics, such as traffic and performance to make decisions about your need for website improvements or a full redesign.
  • SWOT – Asses your site’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Defining your successes as well as your challenges will help you create an improved vision of your site.
  • Competitive analysis – Compare your current site to direct competitors or national healthcare leaders to drive home the message that your organization is overdue for some key digital investments. It’s ideal to consider competitors with similar models, competitive landscape, size and resources, as well as market leaders that drive digital trends.
  • UX Assessment – Review every digital touchpoint to uncover usability gaps and opportunities to improve your visitor’s user experience (UX). Providing a good user experience is one of the most important factors to achieving digital success, conversion rates, and ROI.

When buy-in is critical to your success, make sure, regardless of which tools you use, your data is clear and visual.

Step Two: Build Your Vision for Your Site

When you build your vision for your new site, you’ll need to bridge the gap from where you are today to what your site could be. Use the data you collected to highlight improvements for your site.

Do you need iterative change or a complete redesign? Would you benefit from a new content strategy? Are there features your website lacks in the competitive analysis? Use the data to outline how you should improve your website.

When defining your vision for the new site:

  • Engage key stakeholders – Understand their goals, as well as their vision and ideas. Not only will this help you build buy-in with important team members, but you’ll also ensure your efforts are aligned and focused in the right areas.
  • Outline your goals – Clearly define goals on how your website improvements will benefit your organization, healthcare consumers and internal audiences.
  • Define your vision – Create a short summary that captures what you “see” as the future of your new site. What might the site look and feel like? Why will it be better than what you have today? How will a new site improve conversions and ROI?

Step Three: Turn Data into Dollars

Once you’ve done your research and created your vision for the new site, it’s time to prepare to sell the value. Turn your data and plan into a picture that shows the value the organization gains with your suggested changes.

There are two parts to selling the value of the investment you’re asking leadership to make. First, show the value your digital efforts have delivered in the past. Then forecast the value the new site can deliver in the future.

For both elements of the value equation, the best answers are delivered by showcasing financial value. You can do this by highlighting your patient journey:

  • Engagement metrics – Start with gathering metrics on site traffic along with other engagement metrics such as length of time on certain pages.
  • Conversions – Conversions are great for showcasing value. Focus on the tangible conversions likely to result in a care encounter. These include click-to-call for scheduling, online appointments/requests, screenings scheduled, class registrations, etc.
  • Return on Investment – Completion metrics are the most effective to showcase to your leadership team. How much revenue has the website delivered? What’s the patient acquisition cost? What’s the return on investment (ROI) for the website and key digital marketing initiatives?

The goal is to try to get to return on investment metrics. If you’re having trouble defining revenue earned from your digital initiatives, watch our webinar for tips to overcome hurdles to measuring ROI in healthcare.

Step Four: Prepare for the Presentation

When it’s time to present your case to leadership, revisit the steps above. Share your data findings, your vision for an improved site, how you plan on achieving your vision, and how your new site will benefit the organization.

Depending on your audience, you may concentrate on one of these items more than the others, but be sure to show your team how making proposed improvements to your site could:

  • Reduce advertising investment and increase organic SEO
  • Increase visitor engagement with an improved user experience
  • Gain competitive advantage through superior digitally enabled experiences
  • Improve brand awareness, making it easier to acquire new patients
  • Increase brand loyalty
  • Meet organizational goals

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll not only be ready to present to your leadership team, but you’ll have a greater chance of getting the budget you need to start your website project.

Plan with Geonetric

Ready to start your website redesign project? Or looking for more tips? Contact us – we can help every step of the way. And if you’d like to learn more about VitalSite®, our healthcare specific CMS, sign up for a demo.

51 Award-Winning Medical Websites

When it comes to healthcare website design, it can be hard to stand out today. Design is important — you need to represent your brand. But it’s about more than design, and today’s marketers must consider everything from user experience to load times on mobile devices.

Check out these recent examples of hospital websites, content marketing hubs, landing pages, and blogs that received recognition for visual design, user experience, and technical development.

2022 Award-Winning Healthcare Websites

You name it, our clients won awards for it this year. Custom location landing pages, content marketing hubs, patient-focused content, digital marketing campaigns, site designs and more. Check out some of the best 2022 healthcare websites.

Concord Hospital

Concord Hospital, in Concord, New Hampshire, acquired two nearby community hospitals and integrated both hospital profiles into their main branded website. Their goal was to seamlessly transition and rebrand the two hospitals to operate as one system. To achieve this on their website, Geonetric created custom location landing pages for the acquired locations. These pages won a Platinum eHealthcare Leadership Award for Best Landing Page or Mircrosite, and a MarCom Honorable Mention award for Best Landing Page.

The organization also consolidated all its heart and vascular services into a single new entity — Concord Hospital Cardiovascular Institute. With most services available under one roof, the institute offers an integrated approach to treatment. For help generating awareness and attracting new patients Geonetric ran a digital marketing campaign that produced 450% ROI and won a Gold eHealthcare Leadership Award for Best Digital Marketing Campaign.
Concord Hospital Website

Montage Health

Montage Health, in Monterey, CA, turned to Geonetric to enhance its content efforts with a new content marketing hub. Geonetric built the new content marketing hub with a design that coordinates with Montage Health’s brand and brings its quality content to life.

Since launching in November 2021, the new content marketing hub has seen an impressive increase in clicks from organic search engine results pages and organic search impressions. The site won an eHealthcare Gold award for Best Landing Page or Microsite, as well as Platinum MarCom award for Microsite.
Montage Health Website


SightMD began in Long Island, and now has expanded to 40 locations throughout New York to provide patient first, state-of-the-art eye care. They wanted to rebrand and create a new website that reflected its growth, unparalleled vision services, and patient care approach. SightMD turned to Geonetric to be their new website developer. Geonetric led their content and design strategy for their revamped new digital experience on our easy-to-use platform, VitalSite.

SightMD needed to create brand awareness and grow patient acquisition for all SightMD states. Geonetric’s content strategists created a scalable site navigation that easily accommodates regional expansion to different states and allows users to access all the services, doctors, and locations from the main SightMD homepage.

The new site took home two eHealthcare awards: Gold for Best Site Design & Platinum for Best Overall Internet.

SightMD Website


To spread the word about its advances in the delivery of orthopedic services, and to be recognized for its clinical expertise, EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, WA partnered with Geonetric for a redesign and content overhaul.

Geonetric gave the site a modern look that reflects the health system’s cutting-edge care and increases their brand recognition for their clinical expertise. Seventy pages of extensive, patient-friendly content about orthopedic and sports medicine services were created by Geonetric’s content strategists and writers. Since the added content was published, traffic and user engagement has steadily risen.

In the first full quarter after the new site launched, EvergreenHealth saw improvements on many metrics, including total site sessions, organic traffic, pages per session, and bounce rate, as well as an increase in provider profile sessions. For this the site won:

Evergreen Health Website

Faith Regional

Faith Regional Health Services is a faith-based healthcare system in Norfolk, Nebraska. With target audiences searching for healthcare services on the go, Faith Regional wanted a website with a mobile-first design. Partnering with Geonetric, they redesigned the site for mobile users. Their new digital landscape provides mobile users with responsive and streamlined sitewide navigation, a layout that follows trends in mobile UX, and new functionality that uses geographic targeting for personalization. The site won an eHealthcare silver award for Best Mobile Website.
Faith Regional Health Services Mobile First

Cone Health

Cone Health is a not-for-profit healthcare network serving people in several counties in central North Carolina. As part of its employee recruitment efforts, the organization partnered with  Geonetric  on building an engaging, user-friendly website designed to highlight the benefits of working at Cone Health and make it easy to find a position and apply. The health system also wanted the microsite to support staff retention by providing resources for current employees to advance their careers.

Geonetric’s writers and designers created a new engaging and accessible microsite with streamlined navigation and content. Because Cone Health wanted the new site to target current employees as well as job candidates, Geonetric recommended moving employee benefit and wellness information from the health system site into the careers microsite. Both prospective and current employees now can visit just one site for all the information they need to manage each phase of their Cone Health career.

In the first quarter after the site launched, sessions nearly doubled, increasing 93%. The new job category pages are among the highest-viewed content and some of the biggest drivers of clicks to the job search page. This site won an Honorable Mention MarComm award for Microsite.Cone Health Website

2021 Award-Winning Healthcare Websites

The 2021 healthcare award-winners all let digital strategy take the leading role in meeting their users’ expectations and top their competitions. Read on for more details.

University Health

University Health, in San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas, launched a new website that delivers personalized content to target audiences and builds its brand as an academic health system.

The site, built on Sitecore, won:

University Health's Device Family

PIH Health

PIH Health, in Whittier, California, launched a new website that delivers its reimagined web presence to ensure the site tells a system-centric story in a consumer-friendly way.

The site, built on VitalSite, won:

PIH Health Family of Devices


EvergreenHealth, in Kirkland, Washington, launched a new website with a data-driven strategy to meet the unique needs of their tech savvy community.

The site, built on VitalSite, won a MarCom Award for Website – Medical, Gold.

EvergreenHealth Family of Devices

Acclaim Physician Group

Acclaim, in Fort Worth, Texas, launched a new website that makes it easier for patients to find a provider using a new content management system (CMS).

The site, built on VitalSite, won a eHealthcare Leadership Award Winner for Best Site Design, Platinum.

In 2020, Acclaim received an honorable mention from the MarCom competition in the Website – Medical category.

different electronic devices displaying acclaim physician group's website


Fisher-Titus, in rural Ohio, launched a new website with a modern design, improved navigation that helps site visitors easily navigate and understand the breadth of health services available throughout the Fisher-Titus medical center.

The site, built on VitalSite, won:

Fisher-Titus Family of Devices

Virginia Hospital Center

Virginia Hospital Center, in Arlington, Virginia, launched a new website to deliver a new responsive design and sitewide navigation with healthcare-specific functionality to make it easier to search for and select providers, locations, classes, and services.

The site, built on VitalSite, won:

Virginia Hospital Center Family of Devices


Avera, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, launched a new foundation microsite and Intranet that were both user-centric and leverages the strength of their brand.

The intranet, built on VitalSite, won:

Avera Intranet Family of Devices

The foundation microsite, also built on VitalSite, won:

Avera Foundation Microsite

Mary Greeley Medical Center

Mary Greeley Medical Center in central Iowa, launched a new microsite for its William R. Bliss Cancer Center to strengthen the brand and highlight its differentiators when it comes to cancer care.

The site, built on VitalSite, won:

  • MarCom Award for Web Element – Microsite Information, Gold.

William R Bliss Cancer Microsite

Montage Health

Montage Health, in Monterey, California, launched a new website to enhance their digital presence to strengthen their brand as an innovative health and wellness system.

The site, built on VitalSite, won:

montage health family of devices

Ozarks Healthcare

Ozarks Healthcare, in West Plains, Missouri, launched a new website to create an inviting, easy-to-navigate website that communicates the full continuum of care and medical services.

The site, built on VitalSite, won a MarCom Award for Website – Medical, Gold.

Ozarks Healthcare

2020 Award-Winning Healthcare Websites

Streamlined designs, a focus on user experience, and improved functionality– particularly around the provider directory, are common features in many of 2020’s winners. Check out some of 2020’s best healthcare websites.

ProHealth Care

2020’s big winner was ProHealth Care. Headquartered in Waukesha, WI, ProHealth Care’s new site is built on Geonetric’s VitalSite, boasts a new, streamlined design and improved navigation, and was WCAG 2.0 accessible at launch.

The site took home many awards in 2020, including four from eHealthcare Leadership Awards: Platinum award for Best Site Design, gold award for Best Overall Digital Experience, gold award for Best Doctor Directory, and silver award for Best Internet Home Page. The site also received a gold award in the MarCom awards in the Website -Medical category.

multiple devices showing hospital website homepage

Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital, New Lennox, IL, consolidated numerous sites into one, built on the VitalSite content management system (CMS). With a pre-built theme as the foundation, the site was quicker to launch while still benefiting from decades of design, development, information architecture, and content strategy best practices. The theme is responsive, fast-loading, and accessible. The selected theme was modified to support Silver Cross Hospital’s unique brand and approach to care.

The site took top honors in the MarCom competition with a platinum award. It also received a silver award in Best Site Design in the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Silver Cross Website in different computer devices


East Tennessee Children’s Hospital

Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is the only regional pediatric center in Tennessee accredited by the Joint Commission. Built on VitalSite CMS and showcasing a unique, custom design with detailed illustrations, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s new site engages site visitors with an intuitive user experience and improved functionality, becoming a celebrated new digital front door for the organization. The design also features custom graphics that bring unique artwork from inside the hospital to life on the website. The site received an honorable mention award from the MarCom competition in the Website-Medical category.

Grand River Medical Center

After recent mergers, Grand River Medical Center in Dubuque, IA needed a new website. The new site is built on VitalSite Essentials, a CMS platform developed with medical groups in mind — and improves the medical centers’ mobile experience with a responsive design. In addition, the site has an improved search and navigation, an updated provider directory, new user-focused content, and eye-catching calls to action. Grand River Medical Center’s site received an honorable mention award from the MarCom competition in the Website-Medical category.

collection of devices with hospital website


Ridgeview is an independent, nonprofit, regional health care system serving the southwest metro region of the Twin Cities. Ridgeview’s new site is built on VitalSite and boasts a high-quality digital experience that is consumer-focused and user-friendly for all audiences across the Ridgeview system. The new navigation makes it easier for consumers to find services and resources. The site received a gold award from the MarCom competition in the Website-Medical category.

Mary Greeley Medical Center

Headquartered in Ames, IA Mary Greeley Medical Center is a 220-bed regional hospital that provides healthcare to residents in 13 counties. The new website is built on VitalSite and delivers an updated, modernized experience with dropdown navigation menus with icons. Through a hero video, eye-catching icons, and large fonts, the homepage highlights patient care, patient stories, and promotes the First Nurse Call Center. The site received an honorable mention award from the MarCom competition in the Website-Medical category.

Image of the homepage of Mary Greely Medical Center

Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories

Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories (PDL) needed a new web presence that offered a more robust location directory, engaging, patient-focused content, and made it easy for the PDL team to keep the site up-to-date. The Santa Barbara, CA-based organization worked with Geonetric to design and develop a more modern site on the VitalSite content management system. New navigation and content are audience-focused, and the site’s new location directory delivers important information to site visitors.  The site received a gold award from the MarCom competition in the Web Element-Microsite category.

Image of PDL Homepage

2019 Award-Winning Healthcare Websites

From journey maps to user research to accessibility, big winners from 2019 tackled important initiatives with their websites. Check out some of 2019 best healthcare websites.

Cone Health

Cone Health, headquartered in Greensboro, NC, launched a new site that remained true to their patient-focused values. Cone Health invested in research to better understand how users interacted with their website before the redesign as well as during development—which paid off exponentially. The site seamlessly integrates their access to care initiatives into the homepage banner, guiding users as they explore traditional and new care options.
The site, built on VitalSite, took home many of the industry’s biggest honors, winning Website of the Year from Modern Healthcare, platinum for Best Internet Homepage in the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, and was a finalist for Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards. In addition, Cone Health’s site also took come gold in the MarCom awards in the Website-Medical category.

Multiple devices showing Cone Health web page

Cape Cod Healthcare

Cape Cod Healthcare in Hyannis, MA launched their new site in January of 2019. The organization invested in user research and took particular care with integrating their popular content marketing hub into the new, redesigned site built on the VitalSite platform.

The site immediately started winning awards, including Best Redesign from HITMC, silver award for Website Campaign of the Year from Modern Healthcare, distinction for Best Overall Internet in the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, platinum from MarCom in the Website-Medical category, and was a finalist for Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.

Three devices showing the Cape Cod Healthcare home page.

Adventist HealthCare

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD, Adventist HealthCare launched their new website in February 2019 on the VitalSite content management system (CMS). A patient journey approach was applied to every element of the redesign project, driven by content strategy and content development efforts that prioritized usability, conversions, and Adventist HealthCare’s brand.

The site took home impressive honors including platinum for Best Interactive and Best Internet Homepage in the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, honorable mention from MarCom in the Website-Medical category, and was a finalist for Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards and HITMC’s best redesign.

Multiple devices showing Adventist web page

North Mississippi Health Services

North Mississippi Health Services includes community hospitals in six locations throughout north Mississippi and northwest Alabama, as well as a network of more than 45 primary and specialty clinics. The organization launched a new website on VitalSite that offers a patient-friendly experience, makes it easier to interact with the organization, and presents a unified presence for the system.

The system won two prestigious awards, including gold for Best Site Design from eHealthcare Leadership Awards and gold from MarCom in the Website-Medical category.

LMH Health

Having just rebranded from Lawrence Memorial Hospital to LMH Health, the Lawrence, KS-based health system launched a new website on the VitalSite CMS that demonstrated the breadth and depth of their expanded system.

The new site took home three impressive awards, a platinum in the Best Internet Homepage category and a silver in the Best Doctor Directory category, both at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. The site also won a gold from MarCom in the Website-Medical category.

LMH Orthopedic page


MaineGeneral, Augusta, GA, launched a new site that presented a more unified system-centric approach to site visitors, improved functionality, and created more patient-friendly content.

The new site, built on VitalSite, received an honorable mention in the MarCom awards in the Website-Medical category.

Olmsted Medical Center

When Olmsted Medical Center (OMC), Rochester, MN, set out to redesign their website, they had traditional redesign goals like improving navigation and making the site more user-friendly and more mobile-friendly. The organization also had another, less-traditional goal: make life easier for the individual who manages all aspects of OMC’s website.

Built on VitalSite, their new site meets all those goals and took home an honorable mention at the MarCom awards in the Website-Medical category.

Olmsted page on iPad

Pella Regional Health System

Headquartered in Pella, IA, Pella Regional Health System took a mobile-first approach to their new site to meet the needs of their growing mobile audience.

The new site received an honorable mention in the MarCom awards in the Website-Medical category.

4 smart phones showing the Pella Healthcare mobile experience

Concord Hospital

Headquartered in Concord, NH, Concord Hospital’s new website puts the patient first, presents a new system-centric content strategy and works to expand their regional presence. Built on VitalSite, the new site received a gold from the MarCom awards in the Website-Medical category.

2018 Award-Winning Healthcare Websites

Each year hospital websites launch that take user experience to new levels, whether through design, content, or functionality. Check out some of 2018’s top performers.

Essentia Health

Essentia Health, headquartered in Duluth, MN, launched their new site in May of 2018 with a mobile-first design and industry-leading functionality that includes open scheduling for new patients and ER and urgent-care scheduling and wait times.

The site immediately started taking home top accolades from some of the most prestigious competitions in the healthcare industry. Essentia was recognized by Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards as a finalist for their Website Launch or Relaunch of the year. This awards program seeks out the innovators in the industry and found one with Essentia.

Their website, built on the VitalSite® content management system (CMS), received a sought-after Modern Healthcare IMPACT Award, taking home gold for Website Campaign of the Year.

And finally, Essentia received platinum in the Best Overall Internet Site category at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, which are given out every year during Greystone.Net’s Healthcare Internet Conference.

Firelands Regional Health System

Firelands Regional Health System, Sandusky, OH, redesigned with the hope of presenting a more consolidated brand experience to the market, as well as to move to VitalSite, a more user-friendly CMS. They didn’t set out to win awards, but with their new responsive site and integrated blog, that’s just what happened.

Firelands took home a Best in Class at the Interactive Media Awards, the highest honor bestowed by the organization. The site also received a silver for .

Mercy Medical Center

When Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, IA, redesigned their site in 2018, they employed user testing and heatmap analysis to drive redesign decisions and help them use the web to grow traffic to new and existing services with a focus on promoting urgent cares.

The prelaunch efforts paid off as Mercy took home two top honors, including a Best in Class from the Interactive Media Awards and platinum for Best Site Design at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Sturdy Memorial Hospital

Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Attleboro, MA, needed to consolidate numerous microsites into one responsive site that offered improved functionality. And, they needed all this to be built on a more user-friendly CMS.

With their redesign, they achieved all of that and more, winning a 2018 Lamplighter Award from the New England Society for Healthcare Communications and an Outstanding Achievement from the Interactive Media Awards. In addition to the overall redesign, it was important to Sturdy Memorial to create a flexible landing page to use for campaigns — and that landing page went on to win an Honorable Mention in the MarCom Awards.

Stamford Health

With the goal of presenting a more unified system presence, Stamford Health’s new site streamlines Stamford Hospital, Stamford Health Foundation, and Stamford Health Medical Group content areas, improving navigation and the overall user experience.

The site delivers a modern feel with patient-centered photography and the home page took home platinum for Best Internet Home Page from the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Tower Health

Reading Hospital set out on a website redesign to align their doctors, locations, and brand — and they wanted a CMS that gave them room to grow. Everything was progressing well, and then right before launch, the organization acquired five community hospitals. Reading Hospital became Tower Health and they needed to update the site quickly — and thanks to the flexible design and navigation it was easy.

The new, consolidated site went on to win a Best in Class from the Interactive Media Awards.

Gundersen Health

An early mover in the content hub space, Gundersen Health, La Crosse, WI, redesigned their wellness hub in 2018 to refresh the design, add social sharing functionality, better incorporate video, and use panels to feature news and better promote providers. The new health and wellness hub is a hit with users as well as judges, with the site taking home a gold in the Digital Medical Website category of the MarCom Awards.

Genesis Health

Looking to promote their BirthCenter, Genesis Health, headquartered in Davenport, IA, created a landing page that shares family stories and lets site visitors take a virtual tour or create a birth plan. The landing page also promotes the organization’s expert staff and has fun interactive features and information, including the 2018 top Genesis baby names. The landing page received an Honorable Mention in the landing page category of the MarCom Awards.

Altru Health System

Altru Health System, located in Grand Forks, SD, was one of the first hospital websites to go responsive in 2013 and took that dedication to exceptional mobile experiences to a new level with their 2018 redesign. The new site features flyout menus and integrates their blog feed into the homepage and service-line pages. The site took home a gold in the Digital Medical Website category at this year’s MarCom Awards.

2017 Award-Winning Hospital Websites

Avera Health

Avera, headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD, has a storied history of creating award-winning marketing and design. And 2017 was a great year for their team.

They were the recipients of the prestigious Modern Healthcare IMPACT Award. This award recognizes outstanding healthcare marketing campaigns that are reinventing the way audiences receive and retain healthcare information. This year, they honored Avera Health with the award for Website Campaign of the Year for their main website, which is built on the content management system, VitalSite. The MarCom award competition also took note of their site, and awarded the organization a Gold in the medical category for their website.

This year the team invested in a new online hub to enhance their content marketing efforts and improve SEO. Site visitors aren’t the only ones who love this content marketing hub, it took home a Platinum award for Best Social Network from the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, which were awarded at the 21st Annual Greystone.Net Healthcare Internet Conference in Austin, TX.

Avera Balance Main Page

Gundersen Health

Based in La Crosse, WI, Gundersen Health serves patients in 19 counties across three states. They recently launched a new system-centric site and rolled numerous microsite into one, responsive health system site.

Gundersen Health System main page displayed on multiple devicesTheir site visitors aren’t the only ones that have noticed how impressive the new site is. The site took home a Best in Class accolade at the 2017 Interactive Media Awards.

In addition to the overall site, Gundersen Health created custom provider profiles with ratings and reviews to help site visitors connect and engage with their more than 1,000- high-quality doctors. The system’s provider directory recently took home a Distinction for Best Doctor Directory from the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Gundersen Provider Profile page

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System

Prior to redesigning their homepage, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System worked with our team to do some digging into user statistics. Using scroll mapping and heat mapping, they identified numbers areas for improvement, particularly around main and secondary navigation. They also found places to improve page load and site speed as well as adding more strategic calls to action.

The result? A new homepage that is visually engaging and user-focused. Since launching the new homepage design, Spartanburg Regional is enjoying decreased bounce rates and increase in mobile site visitors. And, they recently took home a Silver for Best Internet Homepage from the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Spartanburg Home Page

Cone Health

With an organizational focus on enhancing their content marketing efforts and embracing the “create once, publish everywhere” mantra, Cone Health reached out to their digital partner to help them create a new content hub. Branded Wellness Matters, the hub showcases many different content types, including videos, blog posts, and testimonials. Built in their healthcare-specific CMS, it also has a sophisticated taxonomy structure that allows it to filer by topic and content type. It also includes SmartPanels that pull in social media feeds. The hub received a Gold from the MarCom Awards.

Cone Health Wellness Matters Home Page

UNM Health System

Previously UNM Health System, associated with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC), maintained separate websites for UNM Hospital, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, UNM Medical Group, and other health care entities. Some sites had minimal information architecture and inconsistent navigational menus that could leave users feeling lost. And none of the sites referenced UNM Health System, a newly branded system.

That’s why they worked with us to create a new, responsive site offering a clear, consistent information architecture that makes the site easy for users to navigate and for the UNM HSC web team to manage. Creating a single, new website also provided an opportunity to rewrite and develop user-friendly content.

The new site received a Distinction at the 2017 Interactive Media Awards. The site’s new user-focused content didn’t go unnoticed either, receiving an Honorable Mention in the Web Content category at the MarCom awards.

UNM Health Main Page shown on multiple devices.

Rutland Regional Medical Center

Rutland Regional Medical Center is a regional system located in rural Vermont. The health system hadn’t redesigned in four years and was ready to modernize the site design and go responsive. The new, responsive site offers large hero images, clean navigation, and clear bold calls to action. It received a Distinction at the 2017 Interactive Media Awards.

Rutland Regional Home Page

UNC Physicians Network

UNC Physicians Network turned to us to develop a site that builds off of the already established digital foundation for UNC Health but gives their more than 50 practice locations a dedicated area for their story. The site received an Honorable Mention in the medical category of the MarCom awards.

UNC Physicians Network Main Page

Adventist Medical Group

How to brand a medical group is a top question facing many healthcare marketers today. For one award-winning example, check out Adventist Medical Group. The site features engaging provider profiles and custom location pages. The medical group also worked with us to create user-focused service line content. The site received an Honorable Mention in the medical category of the MarCom awards.

Adventist Medical Group Locations Hub Page


Blogging is a popular way to engage your target audience and help search engine rankings at the same time. Asante launched a blog to share special moments, health tips, and recipes with their Medford, OR community. The MarCom awards were impressed, giving Asante a Gold in the Social Media category.

Asante Blog home page

Award-winning design and development for healthcare

Award-winning web design and development is about more than just using eye-catching imagery or the latest trends in rollover effects. All of these healthcare organizations worked with Geonetric to ensure their sites not only bring their brands to life online but have a strong technical foundation that takes everything from accessibility to page load speed into consideration.
Ready to start your next award-winning project? Questions about anything you’ve seen here? Drop us a line. We love talking shop.

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