Governance committee experiences

Posted by Rachel Caldwell Mullins @rmullins80, Jun 3, 2019

We are in the midst of a website redesign where we're completely redoing every page on our site. To maintain the integrity of the site going forward, we're starting a governance committee. From the research I've done so far, I understand that this committee can help refine communications across all channels, including social media. I'm really excited to see where we are a year or more down the road with this committee. Has anyone else started one? Is there anything you recommend or wish you would have known going into the process? Do you have any advice on workflows or other documents you created for the committee? Also, what do you call this team in your organization?

I was on a marketing committee for a website redesign and was one of three docs on the committee.( the others were a surgeon and a psychologist). Probably the biggest design input we made was getting a YouTube widget on our homepage. This gives massive flexibility for home page content (both self- generated and outside content). Also , one doc volunteered for a homepage blog, which did take off and wa# picked up by a large city newspaper.

Look, get 1-2 docs on this committee and focus on your mission intently. There is a big question which you need to answer upfront. Is the purpose of your website to generate revenue (usually by capturing patients) or is it to directly help patients? There are rare groups that do both (for example look at Mayo and Cleveland Clinics’ homepages emphasis on appointments, but consider the role the mayos disease library plays on helping patients they will never meet). A good rule of thumb – if you are reporting to the COO or Marketing then it’s about patient capture/revenue, not directly improving patient health. Either answer is OK, but you must consciously decide what your real priority is upfront or you could be weak in both areas.

One other area of the website (which I think is the second most important page and perhaps the most important for economic growth) is the recruiting page and related application flow. Think of it as a landing page which every time it captures the right person it will generate 1 million dollars a year for 20 years. This absolutely needs physician input and nurse practitioner input. (Hint: if you are calling everyone “providers” then it may mean you are not focused on the applicants and are sending the message that you don’t really care that much who you recruit – everyone is just interchangeable).


Excellent advice, @matthewrehrl. I'd like to understand more about using the term "providers" in web content. What's the harm, and what should we say instead? Also — inviting @reedsmith and @chrisboyer and @leeat to add insights on this question of governance.


Hi @matthewrehrl, thanks for your feedback! We are a medical school/research facility and our hospital is a separate organization that broke off in the 90s, so we don't focus on patients like many other similar institutions. We've already completed the research and discovery process with an agency to ensure our website reaches the right audiences. We're mostly concerned with creating a governance team to help shape content in the future. We've worked closely with clinicians, researchers, professors, staff and students to make sure the content is meeting the right audiences with the right information. We just need a committee as people begin requesting changes or new content. Part of that will of course be based on analytics. I'm curious about how others have created workflows for this process, as well as any issues they've had with putting such a committee in place. I know it's a cultural change that will require a lot of adjustment as departments have previously been more in control of what they put on our website.

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