The Ultimate Guide to AI for Healthcare Marketers + Do’s and Don’ts Cheatsheet What You Need to Know
The Ultimate Guide to AI for Healthcare Marketers + Do’s and Don’ts Cheatsheet What You Need to Know

A hospital website redesign is a substantial project. It’s the kind of long-term initiative many people dread — unless you’re content-obsessed like us, of course — so it’s worth putting in the prep work to do it well the first time.

Part of that prep work is writing a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP) — a document that outlines your project goals and invites bids from vendors to complete it. The clearer and more specific your RFP, the better proposals you’ll receive, and the easier it will be to choose the right vendor(s) or agency partner(s) for your website revamp.

Let’s review how to write an RFP for hospital website redesign so you can:

  • Receive strong, targeted proposals from vendors
  • Choose the right partners for the job
  • Build an outstanding website that meets your goals

Related: Laying the groundwork for a major website update? Read our guide to hospital website redesigns with step-by-step advice for beginning this process.

5 Elements to Include in a Hospital Website Redesign RFP

Website migrations are complicated, but writing an RFP doesn’t have to be. This document boils down to 5 must-have elements.

1. Organization overview

Start your RFP with an overview explaining what vendors need to know about your hospital or health system.

Include your:

  • Mission and vision
  • Business objectives
  • Location(s)
  • Service lines
  • Approach or philosophy
  • Governance information
  • Organizational structure

Consider including marketing assets like your brand pillars, healthcare personas or messaging architecture to paint an even clearer picture of your organization. These details give vendors the context to create a targeted proposal.

View our healthcare persona template.

An image from the Aha Media Group healthcare marketing persona template

2. Purpose of the website redesign

What’s the reason for your website rebuild? Are you:

  • Going through a hospital merger or acquisition?
  • Rebranding your health system?
  • Merging multiple sites into an enterprise website?
  • Modernizing outdated technology or a clunky CMS?
  • Redesigning in response to a hospital website audit you did?

Share the purpose of the RFP, along with the insights that led to your decision to revamp your website. If results from an audit, user survey or even website heatmap played into your decision, give vendors a high-level overview of those findings.

Read how one health system outlined the reason for their RFP.

RFP Example

3. Project details

This section should include the details that give vendors a sense of the project’s scope and staffing needs:

  • Objectives
  • Expected timeline*
  • Budget
  • Deliverables

*A note about your timeline: Set aside time during the kickoff phase to brainstorm with your vendors. Tap into their expertise — that’s why you’re hiring them, after all. We often carve out time at the beginning of this process for conversations around location-specific content strategy.

Aside from the obvious RFP elements above, we recommend adding other important details:

  • Project priorities: What are your website must-haves? And which deliverables or objectives are ideal but can be postponed to a future phase of the project?
  • Anticipated roadblocks: What issues might come up during the project? Ask vendors to share their experiences with similar challenges. This will help you find the right support for your situation.
  • Technical requirements: Do you need a new CMS, employee portal or careers site — or help setting up website analytics tools? This information is especially important for website development vendors.

4. Evaluation process and criteria

Reviewing proposals, hearing presentations and selecting your partners can take months. Set an expected timeline for this process and share it with vendors in the RFP. They’ll appreciate the transparency.

Detail the success criteria, too. What do you consider during the decision-making process? See how one health system shared their deciding factors below.

Pro tip: Don’t underestimate the value of experience in healthcare website content and design. Healthcare-focused agencies know:

  • The nuances of service lines and hospital website structure
  • How to build a more effective information architecture
  • How to create patient-centric healthcare content that converts

5. Proposal submission requirements

It’s no fun reaching out to several vendors for information you forgot to request. Outline clear directions for submission to avoid that headache and get solid proposals the first time. Include:

  • How to submit the proposal (online portal, mail or email?)
  • The point of contact for proposals, including name and title
  • The submission deadline
  • A list of agreements, forms or questionnaires to fill out
  • A response format (view an example below)

Response format example

Finally, provide a list of the information you need from vendors. At the very least, request a company overview and details about qualifications, experiences, approach, pricing and references.

(Yes, ask for references — and set aside time to speak to them! It’s tempting to skip this step, but you can learn how vendors worked with past clients, solved issues and performed. Take full advantage of it.)

Choosing Website Strategy Partners

The vendors you choose for this project will be your teammates for a long time. Make sure they’re the right ones. Be open to partnering with multiple vendors so you can work with experts in every area.

What’s the benefit of working with specialized vendors over a full-service agency? To start, it adds more creative potential to your team. 4 “brains” are better than 2.

It also helps you avoid hospital website mistakes sometimes seen in full-service-agency builds (like content being done as an afterthought) — and makes it easier to achieve all of your objectives.

Web design, content strategy and technical development are different skill sets. Work with experts in each one.

Select a Qualified Agency for Hospital Website Content

Looking to work with a healthcare content agency that has extensive experience with hospital site migrations and mergers?

Aha Media Group has served 12 of the top 20 academic medical centers on U.S. News & World Report’s Hospital Honor Roll and participated in over 100 major hospital website rewrites. We have proven expertise in medical writing for the web, deep knowledge of SEO and a focus on healthcare content.

Contact us about your upcoming website revamp to learn more about our experience and how we work.

About the Author: Kim Kelly, Vice President of Client Services

With more than 20 years of experience in client services and a wealth of knowledge in healthcare website strategy, Kim oversees all website content projects at Aha Media. She’s proudly supported Stanford Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System, Johns Hopkins Medicine and most of our current roster of clients.



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