Health Content: Extending Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Patient- and family-centered care is about putting the patient first, or, as Peter Pronovost summed up in one of his blog posts, making the patient the North Star of the care we provide.

As one of our strategic priorities, patient- and family-centered care is at the heart of what we do on the Web at Johns Hopkins Medicine as well as in the clinic. Valuing patients as people doesn't start when they step into the treatment setting. It begins much earlier, when we are creating relationships with them online.

Through our site, people start to relate to Johns Hopkins Medicine as an institution, and we can advance this relationship by putting the best health content online. It's part of treating them as equals in their own care.

Health Content Builds Relationships

Having health content—from information about conditions and treatments to tips for health maintenance to news about research advancements—as a core element of our marketing and communications strategy and brand representation leads us toward achieving the goal of patient- and family-centered care.

We've implemented this strategy in several ways, Here's an example that many of you will be familiar with: A few years ago, we launched the Health Library on And it's been a big success. The health library draws people from around the world to us, and now accounts for almost 30 percent of the traffic we receive on the site. Along with providing valuable information to current patients, this online health content gets people involved with us as a brand before they even make a decision about where or how to get treatment.

The Health Library began as licensed content from well-respected health content provider Krames-Staywell. We've augmented that content strategically by incorporating faculty-sourced articles and editing the licensed material to align with faculty views. Through a dynamically driven taxonomy, the pages of the Health Library also serve to contextually connect visitors to our clinical services, physicians and research. One of the largest content areas we've updated has been Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and we've worked with many other groups as well. If your group is interested in customizing health content, we welcome the chance to work with you.

Marketing and Communications also provides consumer-oriented health content through vehicles such as the Johns Hopkins Medicine newsletter, Johns Hopkins Health, which is sent to targeted Maryland and out-of-state households in printed form (there is also an international Spanish version) and is also available online. And in the coming months, we'll have some exciting announcements about the next phase of our health content strategy.

All of these efforts are focused on showing the wealth of resources available at Johns Hopkins Medicine and better connecting potential patients with doctors and clinical centers, while keeping the emphasis on patient- and family-centered care.

The Internet Strategy team is looking to engage with faculty, residents and fellows to create more customized health content and learn what you think should be included in consumer-friendly health content. We're excited to work with you to inform people about their health and options for care at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Please let us know if you have ideas to help us achieve our goals.