Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) announced it launched a new online portal in an effort to boost community engagement.
Launched late last month in partnership with the Icon Agency, the site became live just in time for the hospital’s new residence at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre building. It offers Peter Mac’s community of patients, researchers and health practitioners better design, structure, content and navigation, all accessible across desktop, tablet and smartphone devices compared to the previous platform.
“The old Peter Mac website was built very quickly and was simply not meeting the needs of our community and the organisation,” Peter Mac’s director of digital strategy, Jeremy Macvean, told CMO. “The structure was confusing, the content was out-of-date, the website wasn’t responsive to different screen sizes and the design didn’t reflect the ground-breaking work of Peter Mac.”
Peter Mac also developed the new website with comprehensive stakeholder workshops and contributions from right across the organisation, Macvean claimed.
“This ensured that we got the information structure right so users would be able to intuitively find what they needed as quickly and easily as possible,” he explained. “This greatly improve accessibility, along with improved site search, better developed content and having a website that presents beautifully regardless of the device that you’re accessing it from.”
According to Macvean, the aim of Peter Mac is to provide the world’s best cancer care, so engaging effectively with the community via a channel such as an effective digital platform is key to delivering this core outcome. For patients and carers, this includes providing information in a way that’s easy to access and understand to empower those affected by cancer with a sense of control, he said.
“The new website that Icon designed and built is a great new digital home for our Peter Mac community, which will facilitate and strengthen the centre’s strategy of providing world-class cancer care, accelerating discovery and research and focusing on cancer prevention and wellbeing,” he said. “Peter Mac is well known for providing outstanding patient care and the website helps to extend this beyond the wall of the organisation.”
But the rollout was not without its challenges. Macvean highlighted Peter Mac had a fixed, tight timeline to work within, and to deliver the website to coincide with the big move to the new building in Parkville.
“This meant we had to get a huge amount of work done quickly and without compromise, which demanded great teamwork with the agency and across the organisation, flexibility and decisiveness at key project milestones,” he said.
Macvean is confident the new website provides a flexible platform to support Peter Mac’s services in cancer care, research, education and prevention into the future.
“The benefits are huge and varied, including better user experience, making it easier for patients and carers to find the information they need, enhancing research, attracting the best people to Peter Mac, and generally improving awareness of the extraordinary care and research taking place within Peter Mac every single day,” he concluded.