Better connected hospitals
Your stakeholders, be they patients, carers, NHS managers, GPs, or job-seekers, increasingly expect to find and do things online.
Shifting enquires to the online channel from the telephone also means significant savings - other public sector organisations are finding that while a phone call costs around £10 to service, web enquiries may cost as little as 15p each.
But are hospital websites good enough, right now, to meet and exceed stakeholder needs and reduce corporate costs?
On the basis of a mini-survey of acute hospitals we carried out this summer, we believe the answer is 'NO', and the purpose of this note is to invite you to participate, at a discounted price, in a wider survey this autumn that will highlight key areas for improvement in your own site, and within the sector as a whole.
Results of this summer's mini-survey
Our survey covered the websites of nine leading hospitals and assessed how easy it was to complete five priority patient tasks including:
- Cancel an outpatient appointment
- Prepare for a stay in hospital
- Find out visiting hours
- Find out about car parking at the hospital
- Find out about infection prevention and control
Across the tasks assessed 40% were rated poor, 33% satisfactory, and just 27% rated very good. The attached report provides the details behind these headline results.
What do we know?
- For the last twelve years, Socitm has carried out a comprehensive survey of all local authority websites, benchmarking the usefulness of their content and the usability of their design. The Better connected report is recognised everywhere in local government as an important resource for driving their improvement. You can read more about here (add link to BC11 press release)
- Our Website take-up service, used by more than a third of all local authorities, provides comprehensive information about the patterns of usage of council websites and crucially the degree of success that customers have in using them. Even the best sites generate significant numbers of failed visits, up to 50% for the worst sites.
- We have worked extensively with cohorts of councils to help them increase success in shifting enquiries from traditional channels to the web channel.
We have now applied this experience and methodology to hospital websites, believing they should following the same principles, ie
- They must be designed around the common tasks expected by stakeholders
- They must work right first time, every time for these tasks
- 'Corporate' information should not 'crowd out' the things most users want to do on the website
This autumn's survey and our offer
If you are able to commit £125 to pay for the eventual report and supporting spreadsheets, then this will ensure that we include your hospital in the survey. For those who are not able to make this commitment, the charge for the report after the end of the survey will be £250.
The report will be complete by 1 December. We plan to run an event before the end of December to share and discuss our findings. Those who commit in advance to the survey will be entitled to attend for £145 each, compared with the standard charge of £225.
If you are interested in participating we will need your commitment by 30 September, secured by a purchase order for £125 made out to Socitm, F19 Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Northampton, NN3 6AQ.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or Martin Greenwood on 01926 498703.