by Alistair Wearmouth
The DispatchHealth challenge: WordPress limitations impeding digital growth
DispatchHealth, a Denver-based company established in 2013, is committed to bringing the capabilities of a hospital directly to the homes of patients across the United States.
In the years following its founding, the company was building its brand and customer base in a mere six cities. Looking forward to now, DispatchHealth is making significant strides towards its ambitious goal of developing the world’s largest tech-enabled in-home care network. With a presence in 44 U.S. states and an impressive patient base of half a million individuals, the company is well on its way to achieving this vision. Moreover, DispatchHealth has forged valuable partnerships with healthcare providers and insurance companies, which have greatly contributed to the success of its service.
However, as Chief Growth Officer Andrea Pearson explained in an interview about their 2022 migration to a new CMS built on Brightspot, the company’s rapid expansion rendered its initial WordPress website obsolete and inadequate for its needs.
“Four years ago, we were open in six places; today, you can access DispatchHealth in 55 different cities,” Andrea says. “Our growth meant we rapidly outgrew our initial take at a website with WordPress. As the website is our marketing front door, it also really needed to stand up to the task of telling the story of who we were more effectively.”
Two persistent problems arose in particular. Firstly, the existing website failed to align with the new messaging that the leadership had envisioned during a significant rebranding initiative.
Secondly, it was crucial for the company to preserve the search-engine keyword optimization and visibility it had painstakingly developed. Andrea emphasized the company’s heavy reliance on organic search-based marketing, making it essential to ensure that any potential web upgrade would not negatively impact its online presence.
Furthermore, DispatchHealth prioritizes its IT resources for core activities, specifically its efficient at-home clinical care services. Investing time and effort into a dedicated website and content management system (CMS) felt like an indulgence the company couldn’t afford.
“To update something on the site across all 55 cities and 1,000 pages, we had to create a new template and work out where all those changes needed to be made,” Andrea recalls. “It was just taking too long and we don’t have the staff to be able to do that. And because of the way we had originally constructed things on the WordPress platform, you really had to be a designer to make any meaningful impact on the publishing side and I didn’t want a designer every time I wanted to make a change.”
Clearly, it was time for a change, but the change had to be done correctly.
This has been achieved and, according to Andrea, it’s down to DispatchHealth leveraging Brightspot’s out-of-the-box CMS features and capabilities.
Following an initial project kickoff in November 2021, the digital home for the Denver-based healthcare provider got its major upgrade in early January 2022. Indeed, the move happened in just 60 days after Andrea had challenged Brightspot’s delivery team to make it possible for DispatchHealth to unveil its new online capabilities at a major investor conference that month.
As Nicole Askari, Creative Director at DispatchHealth, noted at the time: “The Brightspot team made the daunting task of launching a new site in just two months possible with their can-do approach and a well-oiled, organized approach. They are amazingly responsive and a pleasure to work with.”
Or as Andrea jokes: “Yes, that meant moving at a great clip, but that’s how we like to run here at DispatchHealth—this is emergency medicine. Nothing goes slowly around here.”
The Brightspot solution for DispatchHealth: Seamless migration leads to a superior digital experience
Now Andrea and her team of content creators have access to a user-friendly CMS and website that seamlessly aligns with the company’s fresh brand identity. Contrary to her initial concerns, too, the fears regarding SEO proved unfounded. Not only was all the hard work invested in optimizing keywords and visibility successfully transferred to the new site, but it also yielded a significant increase in reach following the migration to Brightspot.
“I’ve done site migrations several times over the years and the thing that you always worry about—whether you’re a large enterprise or a small publisher—is that you’ve put in a lot of previous work to create an SEO footprint,” she says. “I didn’t want to mess anything up on the SEO footprint side and with the Brightspot replatforming what we saw was not only no loss, but a very welcome 40% improvement.”
The modular nature of the new platform has also been a game-changer for DispatchHealth. Using modular content to create once and publish everywhere Andrea and her team can effortlessly publish various types of content tailored to different customer segments. This newfound flexibility has empowered DispatchHealth to effectively engage with diverse sets of customers, catering to their unique needs and preferences.
She adds: “We use a lot of video to explain our clinical capabilities, so being able to take those modules and publish them across multiple pages for things that can appear across many, many pages creates a huge amount of efficiency.”
The site also takes advantage of the CMS’s built-in key phrase replacement piece—for example, if the location is ‘Denver,’ any page or piece of content can be customized to insert location-specific detail without requiring a content producer to manually wade through dozens or even hundreds of different assets.
Other benefits have included out-of-the-box third-party integrations upon which DispatchHealth relies upon to do business, find customers and drive revenue.
“Partners are a critical part of our business, especially on the search side, so we were very excited about Brightspot integrations for Salesforce, which is our platform for CRM and Pardot, which we use for that trigger-based communication,” Andrea highlights.
The outcome for DispatchHealth: Better business results and a platform to support expansion
From the initial project kickoff to a successful replatforming off WordPress just 60 days later, the outcome for DispatchHealth has been transformative.
The clinical home-care service can now devote its full attention to delivering exceptional patient care rather than dealing with different web developers for each city’s site updates.
The new content platform and built-in tools, templates and workflows have enabled DispatchHealth to effectively disseminate specific messages to its diverse customer base. The SEO integrity remained intact and, indeed, realized immediate performance gains and growth to drive the business forward.
Looking back now at the ways Brightspot’s features and functionality made the move such a success, Andrea credits the partnership between the two teams as the real difference-maker.
“The reason you go outside to do things is that you can do it smarter, better, faster and with people who know more than you do,” she says. “And in this case, we found that to be absolutely true.”