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Digital Experience Platform

Why Healthcare Digital Experience Technology Must Evolve

January 2, 2024 4 minute read
Healthcare organizations must update their tech stack to keep up with the times and a step ahead of the competition
Color photo of older white man in lab coat with a stethoscope shows woman image on iPad

Changing consumer expectations, post-pandemic norms, and an increasingly competitive healthcare environment have required organizations to keep pace by providing consumer-focused websites and digital patient experiences. The technologies used to power these digital experiences have evolved to be critical for both healthcare marketing and delivery.

As we embark on the new year, it’s helpful to look back at how the industry has evolved and to see where it’s headed. Knowing which technologies are outdated and which can put you ahead of competitors is a must in the increasingly crowded healthcare industry.

Mid-1990s–2010: The early years

Hospital and healthcare websites gave consumers information on locations, services, and providers. Interactivity and transactional elements were limited, and the primary conversion goal was to get website visitors to submit a contact form or call to make an appointment or request additional information.

Many healthcare websites were static and lacked a true content management system (CMS). Legacy proprietary and healthcare-specific CMS platforms were widely used. As 2010 neared, some healthcare organizations began to move to more modern CMS platforms, including open source options like Drupal.

2010–2020: Enterprise CMS platforms

During this period, healthcare websites became more user- and patient-centric, with industry leaders prioritizing consumer needs like more intuitive on-site search, better navigation, and information about pricing. Consumer expectations evolved to reflect the digital experiences (DX) they had become accustomed to across other industries. Towards the end of the decade, transactional tools and interactivity like online scheduling, ratings/reviews, chatbots, limited content and UX personalization, as well as integration with third-party data and systems, became more prevalent.

Over this period, healthcare organizations came to prefer leading enterprise CMS platforms like Drupal, Kentico, Ektron, Sitecore, and Adobe. Acquia became widely used by healthcare organizations that wanted the flexibility of Drupal combined with industry-leading securityprivacy, and reliability. 

2020 and beyond: Digital experience platforms (DXPs)

Today, healthcare organizations are pursuing omnichannel, integrated, and personalized digital experiences throughout the consumer journey and digital patient experience. Industry leaders are pursuing authenticated website experiences integrated with patient portals and CRMs. Organizations are exploring opportunities to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to support and improve the patient experience.

However, many are still working to enhance access, transparency, and the useful applications of personalization. And most still lack half-decent online scheduling. 

Industry leaders, on the other hand, have moved towards broader digital experience platforms (DXP). DXPs offer an integrated set of technologies that support the creation, management, delivery, and optimization of digital experiences. A DXP can be implemented as a holistic digital platform or in a composable manner that leverages integrations with other marketing technology (martech) platforms. In 2020, Gartner recognized this shift and retired its long-standing Web Content Management Magic Quadrant in favor of the new DXP Magic Quadrant. Acquia, Sitecore, and Adobe have become the most widely used, full-featured DXP platforms for health systems.

Other reasons healthcare organizations are moving to holistic DXPs include:

  • They increase growth. Healthcare organizations need to deliver innovative and relevant patient care experiences across a variety of different channels. Organizations can generate increased consumer awareness and patient volume, drive greater patient engagement, loyalty, and better experiences all while a DXP like Acquia’s keeps content and data within HIPAA compliance.
  • They reduce cost. Healthcare organizations can deliver their digital experiences more efficiently through better cross-team collaboration, governance, and simplified martech integrations. 
  • They lower risk. Cloud and product solutions that meet a variety of compliance standards allow healthcare organizations and patients alike to trust that their experience is protected and is HIPAA-compliant.

Find a partner to assist your digital transformation

Evolving with the times keeps your organization competitive and top of mind for patients and consumers. You may need an experienced DXP partner who can help guide your digital transformation. 

Alliance Innovations partners with Acquia to create and support consumer-focused websites and apps for healthcare organizations. Reach out today to learn how we can help your organization grow and optimize its digital patient experiences.

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