May 23, 2016

Pioneering the "Patient-User" Experience Online

Best Practices from Retail Fuel New Online Approach for Nashoba Valley Medical Center

When Steward Health Care, parent company of Nashoba Valley 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, Nashoba Valley 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, Nashoba Valley 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 health care sector lag far behind other industries in embracing fundamental innovations to create an easier and more patient-centered online experience,” said Salvatore Perla, president of Nashoba Valley Medical Center.

“The audiences that matter above all for the services and information we’re offering online are our patients and potential patients,” said 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, Nashoba Valley 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.

Nashoba Valley 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 Nashoba Valley 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 Nashoba Valley Medical Center
Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC) offers community-based primary care and specialty services. NVMC was a recipient of the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval and was named to The Leapfrog Group’s annual list of Top Hospitals in 2014. Areas of clinical strength include emergency medicine, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, oncology, orthopedics, physical therapy and general surgery. NVMC also offers a comprehensive Center for Pain Management, Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Travel Clinic and Occupational Health Services. Nashoba Valley Medical Center is part of the Steward Health Care System LLC, the largest integrated community care organization in New England which combines over 3,000 physicians, 10 acute care hospital campuses, managed care, insurance programs, home care, an imaging operation, and a number of other post-acute services, to provide the most cost effective and highest quality of integrated patient care. Additional information is available at