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Website Launch: McLean’s Mission Shines in its User-Friendly New Website

April 29, 2015 Print

Compassion. Innovative Research. Training. Finding the Care You Need.

These are some of the themes that greet you on the homepage of McLean’s newly redesigned website, mcleanhospital.org. The images—people engaged in warm conversation, scientists investigating the causes of and cures for psychiatric illness—reflect the sentiments. The hospital’s values and key messages immediately strike home and invite visitors, at the click of a mouse, to learn more.

Nancy Hoines, MPH
Nancy L. Hoines, MPH, senior director of Business Development

“The website is the front door to the hospital for visitors around the world,” said Nancy L. Hoines, MPH, senior director of Business Development and chairman of the website redesign committee. “It brings together, in one place, the commitment to compassion, respect, and teamwork that underlies our mission: to provide the highest-quality clinical care, academic training, and research innovations in the mental health field.”

McLean’s virtual door swung open on July 21, 2014, welcoming the primary audience of prospective and current patients, their families, and referring clinicians, as well as members of the academic and research communities, the media, and other visitors. The site’s role as a gateway is why the redesign was such an important part of the hospital’s seven-year strategic plan, launched in 2008.

McLean has had a website since 1997. This latest version, developed with input from a committee of 20 internal representatives, brings the hospital’s Internet presence into the social-media age. Paramount in shaping the design, said Hoines, were a sleek, user-friendly interface, intuitive search functionality, and ease of navigation. “Our chief concern was that all visitors be able to easily and quickly find the information they need,” noted Hoines.

The streamlined, interconnected pages do just that. The homepage invites visitors to search directly for programs and services by psychiatric condition or level of care, and provides a link to the page explaining how to access that care. Custom videos describe signature residential programs and career opportunities, in staff members’ own words. Clinician and researcher profiles, news stories from within the hospital and from the outside press, hospital publications, and the blog Advances in Mental Health, which features commentary on current mental health topics by hospital thought leaders, tie internal areas of expertise to external developments, including mental health policy. McLean’s Facebook and Twitter feeds keep McLean’s online newsroom up to date in real time.

“We wanted McLean to be represented as the multifaceted resource it is,” said Hoines, who began her tenure at the hospital 18 years ago as director of Network Development, helping grow McLean’s services past the Belmont campus to 10 other locations in Massachusetts and Maine.

Additional pages cover the hospital’s research programs, as well as educational opportunities for professionals—residencies, fellowships, and continuing education—and the general public, including hospital guides for patients and families and a consumer mental health library. The Give page features the direct impact of philanthropy on the hospital.

The new online experience is already paying off. Since the July launch, the average amount of time visitors spend on the site has risen by 40 percent and the average number of page views per visit has increased by 25 percent. “Quality-reporting metrics show that people are finding much greater relevance in our information than ever before,” said Hoines. “We continue to use sophisticated analytics to monitor and improve the site based on visitors’ usage.”