CareTech News

St. John Providence: Rebuilding a Hospital Website – from Vision to Reality

The Challenge

As a member of Ascension, the largest nationwide faith-based collaboration, St. John Providence, which has more than 125 medical centers and four hospitals in four counties, needed a significant website update. Its existing design had been used for nearly eight years, and technology had advanced considerably. In addition, SJP had itself experienced a large amount of growth. The hospital recognized the need to keep up with technology and their competitors.

They relied on the expertise of their advertising agency, which has a digital arm, to help find a partner that would work. The agency researched a wide range of different options and designated the top choices. SJP took it from there, with an overall vision for the creation of a platform that would allow the hospital more flexibility and more management of their site.

The Process – and Solution

CareTech was ultimately chosen as the developer of the site, with design by a third-party Web design company. The advantages CareTech brought were strong software, strong security, the ability to host the site, and the added benefit of being close geographically to the hospital.

CareTech’s process included: Defining the project scope, gathering requirements, creating the functional specifications document, identifying needed customizations, participating in client status calls, building the site according to the third-party design and functional specifications, providing site QA, client training, client review and approval of the site, and go-live activities.

The St. John Providence and CareTech teams put a great deal of specialized work into the overhaul. Both the site and the important modules – such as Find-a-Doc, Donations, Service Finder, and Location Finder – were all highly customized. In addition, search could now be done by language, by hospital, or by zip code. This allowed the SJP team to create linkage between information about their services, and how patients could easily access those services, a top priority.  

Launch – and a New Beginning

The newly redesigned and rebuilt website launched December 29, 2014, responsive in all mobile formats. With CareTech’s CareTech CMS in place, SJP gained the ability to change the art, change banners, and update any editable content even within the modules.  Developers only needed to be involved in making structural changes to the look of the site.

Prominent on the new St. John Providence website are the six Centers of Excellence, service lines that are a priority to promote and advertise. The Centers offer expertise in cancer, heart and vascular, minimally invasive surgery, neuroscience, orthopedics, and weight loss. Through a recent enhancement of SJP’s strategic direction, there is also more focus on the individual hospitals in the system and in giving them the same exposure as the Centers of Excellence, to maintain a consistent look throughout.

A Lesson Learned

The governance structure of the project is critically important. It’s certainly possible to work with multiple parties that are all engaged in the project, but it’s necessary to find the right mix on how to work with those parties. Everyone needs to be fully engaged with the main organization, to be able to effectively present specialized information.

St. John Providence was a very active client from the beginning – and continued to be, post go-live. They constantly work with the site, and when they see things that are not performing, or are not how they envisioned them, changes are made. Customization is continuing to be done as the site evolves.

Because the CareTech team was intimately involved, they were able to implement the choices that SJP needed and were able to build a website to the hospital’s specifications, based on the conversations, the requirements, and the demos that the team held to explain and showcase all the elements. A decision point could be presented and a clear-cut resolution achieved.

The Immediate Future

Search engine optimization is a major initiative for the next year of the site’s evolution. The plan is for the team at St. John Providence to do much of that work themselves, with a healthy balance of organic  and paid search, using some assistance from outside third-party experts.



“We have a very good relationship with all members of the CareTech team. Their work ethic, client service, and technical capabilities are all excellent. We’ve been very pleased with our partnership, and are proud of the website they helped us create.”

Lisbeth Murphy
Director, Creative Services
St. John Providence