May 12, 2016

Pioneering the Patient User Experience Online

Best Practices from Retail Fuel New Online Approach for St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center


(Brighton, MA) – When Steward Health Care, parent company of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, set out to pioneer a new, online patient-user experience, they decided to draw inspiration not from other medical industry players, but instead from the digital presence of major retail brands. As part of the effort, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center now has a completely revamped online look – one tailored to make it easier for patients to access services, find information, and schedule appointments.

By partnering with technology providers who have helped build the online presence of brands like Puma, Timex, and Warner Music Group, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, along with its fellow Steward hospitals, is among the first group of acute care providers in Massachusetts to offer a fully mobile-integrated website that will deliver custom content for patients based on their prior in-site visits.

“Achieving this distinction is both possible and necessary because websites in the healthcare sector lag far behind other industries in embracing fundamental innovations to create an easier and more patient-centered online experience,” says Beth Hughes, President of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.

“The audiences that matter above all for the services and information we’re offering online are our patients and potential patients,” says Colleen Walsh, Director of Digital Communications for Steward Health Care. “As a community-based health care service provider, Steward is built around our patients, and that philosophy now extends to our presence online. By providing the level of user-oriented experience that consumers have come to expect from major retail brands, Steward is leading our industry toward putting the patient first – not just through the world-class care we provide, but through how we offer access to those world-class services.”

As a result, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Steward Health Care, a national leader in health care delivery innovations, are now leading on a new front – pioneering a “patient-user experience” built to meet the highest commercial standards. Input from hundreds of patients through surveys, interviews, and usability tests helped drive the creation of the new hospital websites. The custom response patient “dial pad” is among the marquee innovations within the new allowing patient-users to instantly find a doctor, make an appointment, or access medical information through the “StewardConnect” portal.

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Steward engaged two major technology partners to help create a superior patient-user experience within the market: Acquia, one of the nation’s fastest growing private technology companies and a leading provider of cloud based digital experiences (Puma, Warner Music Group, Lush, Timex, and more), and Hatch 130, a New England-based digital and creative service agency (NBA, National Grid, and more).

As part of their innovative move towards pioneering and prioritizing the patient-user experience, Steward has launched new sites across its entire network – including St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center to introduce a seamless mobile experience for health care consumers.

This video explains more about the new personalized content feature, while this video provides an overview of the new


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About St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is a major academic medical center affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine.  Areas of medical excellence include vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiology, cardiac surgery, urology, ENT, general and robotic surgery, bariatric surgery, women’s health, high-risk obstetrics, bone and joint health, hematology/oncology, pulmonary medicine and emergency medicine.  St. Elizabeth’s is a member of Steward Health Care, which is the second largest health care system in New England.