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The personal neighborhood touch

This article appears in the issue May 2002 [Volume 11, Issue 5]

Information, not technology, is said to be at the center of Priority Healthcare’s strategy for its Hepatitis Neighborhood Web site. That is why nurses maintain the Web site content, not IT experts.

Priority Healthcare works with Cytura to provide an easy-to-use content management system to enable the nurses to create, post and managed site content through a simple, point-and-click interface.

The level of personalization the site offers depends on the user. During registration, users are asked a series of optional questions, and the more information they provide, the more specific their information will be. For example, if a user tells Priority Healthcare the type of hepatitis he or she has, the information relates to that strain. Also, for example, a male user would not receive information about how the disease affects the body during pregnancy, unless he specifically requested it.

Nurses make that happen using the personalization features of the content management software, according to a recent press release from Cytura. By checking a few boxes, they enable the content to go to the correct people. Before implementation of the new system, a nurse would pass the content to an IT specialist, who would add code and then put the data online. Personalization was difficult at best, and it took two people to do what is now done by one.

Hepatitis Neighborhood provides sufferers of the disease with a community of people with similar experiences. Priority Healthcare, which specializes in providing biopharmaceuticals and disease treatment programs to individuals with chronic diseases, will soon open Web sites for other diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, growth deficiency, hemophilia and pulmonary hypertension.

While health information is key, the online neighborhoods also serve as marketing vehicles, helping to develop relationships with current patients and to bring new patients into the system. In fact, Priority President and COO Steven Cosler estimates that the company gains a couple of patients each week via the site and also attracts physician practices who like the interactive atmosphere


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