The American College of Chest Physicians is a not-for-profit medical society representing nearly 19,000 members in more than 100 countries. They include specialist physicians and allied health professionals working in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine; thoracic surgery; cardiorespiratory interactions and related disciplines.
CHEST’S website is a valuable resource for those health professionals, but by 2009, the organization knew it needed to be overhauled. It was clear the organization needed a new website when members complained about its dated look and the fact that it was hard to find what they were looking for. CHEST’S staff behind the scenes found the website “difficult and challenging” to maintain, struggling with the workflow and to post the content they wanted to in the design. Meanwhile, CHEST leaders knew the association’s technology needed an update across the board, including its LMS, AMC and financial systems.
CHEST turned to .orgSource for extensive help during many stages in the process, especially web strategy development, vendor selection and website development and launch.
During the website redesign, CHEST’s entire membership was asked to participate in an electronic survey to assess what information members would like to see on a newly designed site. They were also asked about their use patterns, what they thought of the previous site’s content and functionality and the site’s perceived valued. Almost 5,000 members responded to the survey. There was also an in-depth telephone survey by .orgSource of a variety of constituents, including board members, committee chairs, long-time members and people who had joined the association more recently.
In addition, .orgSource staff members analyzed the use of CHEST’s website, as well as a complete competitive analysis of other websites that might serve pulmonary, critical care and sleep physicians.
The result of this discovery phase was the determination that CHEST’s members wanted a resource-rich website with robust educational content that could be readily accessed through an efficient and effective search and navigation system. There also was a strong sense that tools for networking and e-communities were emerging as a more important feature of CHEST’S next generation website.
Meanwhile, .orgSource helped CHEST draft an information and technology plan, which would not only provide a strategic underpinning for the new website but also establish a framework for designing and implementing critical building blocks necessary for delivering optimal technology solutions to members.
At the same time, the design of the website progressed. A card sort exercise conducted by .orgSource revealed how CHEST members and staff thought content for the website should be organized.
During 2012, major system updates and integration were put in place, including new enterprise content management; learning management and collaboration systems; and a new publications platform, as well as the new taxonomy and a system to support multifaceted search features on the website.
Once all the building blocks were in place, CHEST’s website, was launched in February 2013. Among its many features:
- A better designed home page with updated information and easy access to important links
- A new menu/navigation system that allows users to efficiently get where they want to go
- An improved search function that uses multifaceted filters to gather relevant results across chestnet.org content as well as articles from Chest, a monthly journal featuring the best in peer-reviewed, cutting edge-original research in the multidisciplinary specialties of chest medicine
- New and expanding clinically relevant content including event/conference information, e-learning opportunities, guidelines and archives from publications
- Increased use of multimedia formats
- Opportunities to interact with colleagues and share information through e-communities (NetWorks), as well as social media integration
- Expanded up-to-date news sections, including healthcare news, CHEST news and blogs by CHEST thought leaders
- A mobile-friendly version, accessible from any smartphone browser.