How to Build an Effective Crisis Resource Hub

What types of information should your resource hub include?

To start, ensure you’re answering common questions and the most important information everyone should know about the virus, such as:

  • Symptoms
  • How the virus is spread
  • Treatment options, in a hospital or at home
  • Prevention methods
  • When to get care

While other organizations are likely providing this information, it’s still valuable to include it on your website for area residents who turn to your health system as their primary source of information.

Create Information Unique to Your Health System

Focus your crisis resource hub content on local concerns. People want to know:

  • Steps you’re taking to protect people at your facilities – Describe any changes in sanitation and sterilization, or other protocols keep patients and guests safe, which may include policies and practices at long-term care and nursing home facilities.
  • Facility changes – If any of your clinics, gyms, or other wellness facilities are closing or changing hours, update your visitors with this information and include any information on virtual events that may be taking place instead of on-site events.
  • Myths and facts – Anxiety and panic can lead to misinformation spreading across your community. Use your crisis resource hub as a place to share facts, address rumors, and debunk false statements.
  • Visitor policies and restrictions – When the crisis is a communicable disease, clearly communicate changes to your hospital visiting policies.
  • What supplies they need for their home – Help people plan ahead and cope with social distancing or isolation scenarios by explaining what types of medicine, food, and other supplies to keep on hand at home.
  • Where to get care – Explain options for care, including when to take advantage of virtual care options and when to visit an urgent care or emergency room, for patients with symptoms of COVID-19 and for other needs.

Create individual pages for these topics that are easy to share on social platforms, in newsletters, and through your intranet with employees and staff.

Address High-Risk Audiences

Consider creating targeted content for people with distinct concerns and questions because they are:

  • Caregivers
  • Immuno-compromised
  • Living with chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, kidney disease, and lung disease
  • New parents
  • Parents of newborns, school-aged children, or teens

Use resources in your hospital, such as doctors and clinical leaders, to explain how people in these groups can protect their health. Refer these audiences to services and resources within your system for help.

Sample Wireframe and Content Layout for COVID-19 Resources Hub

Geonetric’s expert content strategists and designers partnered to create this sample wireframe to help you build and organize a hub quickly and with all the right information.

Wireframe of a COVID-19 Resource Hub


Use Plain Language

Make information easy to understand by creating highly readable content:

  • Be conversational, speaking in an active, second-person voice
  • Break down complex medical concepts, using a series of short sentences
  • Use common words and spell out acronyms on first reference
  • Write clear, descriptive links (never use “click here”)

People tend to scan web pages, rather than reading every word, so use techniques that help them quickly and easily find the information they want.

Link to Reliable, Accurate Outside Sources

Create a space on your hub landing page for links to trustworthy, accurate sources of information outside your walls, such as:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Local and state health departments

These organizations are on the front line of the crisis and can provide the latest, most up-to-date information. Google recently launched a COVID-19 hub of its own, complete with trending keyword data, common search queries, the latest articles from reputable sources, and more.

Employ the Power of Content Marketing

If your organization uses content marketing, promote those assets in your crisis resource hub.

See examples of videos, blog articles, and other content healthcare marketing teams have created to guide their audience during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Don’t forget about older articles that are relevant to the current crisis. Review, update, and share articles on topics like:

  • Handwashing techniques
  • Hygiene to prevent the spread of germs
  • Sanitizing and safeguarding your home during illness
  • Keeping your children and family safe from illness
  • Tips for eating healthy
  • Stress management

Reach out to doctors, nurses, and front-line staff to provide input and insight into the content you’re creating. They are useful, trustworthy sources of information for your audience.

Choose Images with Empathy

Public health crises are scary. Where you can, use images that evoke feelings of calmness, trust, and security. This can help reduce anxieties. Photos of your staff helping patients, or pictures of your waiting areas and amenities, can help convey empathy and familiarity.

When possible, avoid images that could fuel anxiety, like needles or people in hazmat suits.

Create Meaningful Conversion Paths

Make sure people can get to your crisis resource hub, no matter where they are on your site. Likewise, ensure people can get to other related content and services if needed. These might include:

  • Links from service line or foundational content pages to your resource hub, letting people know that you have updated information they can trust
  • Links from the crisis resource hub to related services, such as virtual health and telemedicine, urgent care, or health assessments
  • Alert panels, which can and should appear on every page of your site, alerting people of any updates regarding the crisis. These panels can link to your crisis resource hub, as well as individual pages, such as visitor restrictions and how your hospital is keeping patients and visitors safe
  • Related locations where someone can receive care, such as urgent care or family practice clinics
  • Decision trees and checklists to help people access the right care when they need it, such as choosing between urgent care and emergency care, or when it’s time to call their doctor

Share Your Crisis Resources

Use social media to share pages from your crisis resource hub, content marketing articles, videos, and more. In your email newsletters, create a special section for up-to-date crisis communication. When sharing links, use UTM codes so you can track the source of website traffic.

Update your business listings, and consider a Google post to provide fast updates to users on the search engine results page (SERP) for your organization’s locations.

Build a Workflow to Assess & Iterate

As the crisis unfolds and news evolves, bring your team together to assess the content you’ve created. New questions from your social followers and front-line staff may come up that produce opportunities for your team to create new content.

And of course, as information becomes outdated, update, or archive your pages.

If you need guidance planning your crisis communication hub or creating content for your audience, contact Geonetric. We can serve as an extension of your team when your community is counting on you like never before.

Five Web Design Trends Healthcare Marketers Should Focus on in 2020 and Beyond

Five Web Design Trends Worth Your Attention

Trends focused on supporting intuitive experiences, giving users the information they are seeking with ease, are always in style. Savvy organizations are finding new ways to use design to tell their brand stories and better connect with their audiences, uniquely differentiating themselves from their competition.

What does this mean to healthcare marketers and your websites? Today, patients want convenience, exceptional care, and remote access. A first impression online that provides users with a convenient, intuitive, easy access to their top tasks can potentially kick-start a successful patient journey and ongoing, positive relationship. Design, if accompanied by the right content, will help produce this experience.

Here are the top five design trends for 2020 that healthcare marketers should pay attention to and how your organization could benefit from incorporating some of these into your web strategy.

#1: Inclusive design

Accessibility is an important topic in healthcare web design right now. But stepping back and thinking about accessibility as part of the bigger theme of inclusive design is really where your focus should be. Considering the needs of a diverse population provides a better understanding of your audience.

Building inclusive thinking into the design process early will ultimately provide a better user experience for all visitors on your site, as well as save money and time by not having to retrofit your site to meet accessibility standards. For example, consider color contrast, alternative text for images, text resizing capabilities and many other standards to make your site more accessible. Listen to our on-demand webinar on Website Accessibility and Healthcare to learn more.

#2: Minimalism

Minimalism isn’t a new concept. It’s about expressing only the most essential and necessary elements in a design. This translates into website designs that use space intentionally between elements as to not overload the user, displaying the information users are truly seeking, and making their click path more easily identifiable.

Minimalism is just as much about the functionality as we see more experiences allowing for one-tap registration and instant payment. This comes to mind when thinking about a patient’s click path for actions such as scheduling an appointment, finding a doctor, registering for an event or making an online bill payment. Using minimalism effectively can lead the user through the page by organizing the content and providing balance among the other design elements.

#3: Purposeful micro-interactions

Micro-interactions are small design elements with a single purpose that create engaging, welcoming and human moments for users while interacting with your site. These elements tend to communicate status and provide feedback, helping users see the results of their actions. Popular micro-interactions include simple animations, swipe actions, animated buttons, and call to actions that have a bit of action associated with them, nudging the user to interact.

Micro-interactions can strengthen a brand’s representation based on its active visual and motion design, creating an attached emotion for the user. Visitors can customize their experience based on how they choose to interact with the site. It is important to know your users well in order to serve them effectively with interactions that enhance their overall experience and not take away from it.

#4: Tailored experiences

New devices are inevitable as technology continues to advance and design will continue to adapt as necessary along with it. Web design will have new opportunities to create unique, relevant experiences for users, such as with foldable, touchable displays, voice user interfaces, and personalization based on collected data.

Traditional care is shifting along with technology and with more patients utilizing the convenience of telehealth and other remote healthcare resources, organizations will need to rethink how to best design and create experiences to meet their patients’ needs.

#5: Custom, brand-driven elements

Some of the more visually focused design trends are including dark layouts, diverse typography, and custom illustrations. Dark mode, or using light-colored text, icons, and graphical user interface elements on a darker background, is becoming a popular option, especially as trend-setters Apple and Slack have been embracing it. Dark mode can provide a more enjoyable user experience, drawing the content out and creating a sleek, bezel-less display or illusion on mobile that your website’s design goes from one edge to the other.

Designs are also experimenting more with typography after many years of bold, lowercase sans-serif typefaces. Typography is seeing a bit of rejuvenation with artistic executions and unlikely combinations. Additionally, purposeful, custom illustrations and brand elements are on the rise, translating information to incite emotion to take action and strengthening the brand identity.

Create a great design experience

Deciding whether or not to include design trends into your website is dependent on your organization’s and users’ needs. Regardless of what you decide, use design as a tool to produce the positive experience intended for your site’s visitors and effectively tell your brand story.

And remember, if you’re unsure of how to move forward with your web and design strategy, call in the experts. And, be sure to check out our Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020 webinar for more discussion on healthcare marketing and web design trends.