Monday, November 24, 2008

LifeBridge Health Gets Wired

In the past, doctors made house calls to evaluate swollen ankles or persistent fevers. Now, when concerned parents need advice on treating injuries and colds, their first stop is often the Internet.

Some 80 percent of U.S. Internet users search for health information online, and about a third of them use it to find a hospital or physician, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Bearing out the survey’s findings, LifeBridge Health has experienced a tremendous increase over the last year in Web traffic on its site, In August 2007, the site had 89,479 total visits. One year later the number had jumped 40 percent, to 125,788 total visits.

To attract more visitors – and keep them from surfing to other sites –the LifeBridge Web team has launched several unique initiatives.

First, the LifeBridge Health site got a complete makeover. Improved navigation means visitors can find what they’re looking for more quickly; and search capabilities were enhanced. Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Levindale and Jewish Convalescent each were given a unique color scheme.

The LifeBridge Web team also maintains several micro Web sites that broaden our presence on the Web. Performance Edge at LifeBridge Health & Fitness (LBH&F), braVo!, LifeJobs and all launched or were given a facelift last year. LBH&F’s redesigned Web site features new videos highlighting many of the center’s programs and services.

New features were added to draw visitors deeper into the sites from the homepage. In-person video messages catch the eye and ear immediately and direct visitors to pages they may not visit otherwise. Detailed 3-D Human Atlas animations describe common medical conditions and procedures, from allergies to heart bypass.

To make our open positions easier to find, the Web team invested in software that makes LifeBridge Health jobs appear at the top of search engine results pages. Last month, LifeBridge recruiters hosted a virtual job fair where they chatted online with potential candidates.

Social networking has quickly become a popular recruitment tool and a way for companies to reach consumers. Again, LifeBridge Health is ahead of the curve, having become one of the first health care companies in Maryland to launch a Facebook® page and create a LinkedIn account. LifeBridge Health, Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Levindale, Jewish Convalescent and braVo! all have unique pages on Facebook.

As the Web continues to grow as a mechanism for consumers to find health care–related information, the Web team at LifeBridge Health is poised to be a regional leader in online consumer marketing.

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