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Southern Regional launches interactive web site

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

In an effort to better market its services and offerings to the community, Southern Regional Medical Center launched a new, hospital web site on Wednesday.

The interactive site offers visitors a wealth of information previously unavailable to the public, which hospital administrators believe will better educate the community about its health care options.

Bill Applegate, managing director of marketing and public relations for the hospital, described the web site as "a huge leap forward" for the hospital. Using Adobe Flash, detailed scientific videos, and personal interviews with doctors and surgeons, potential patients will be able to intimately acquaint themselves with the procedures offered at the hospital and the doctors who perform them.

The web site is "the new front door of the hospital," Applegate said. "The prior version of the web site certainly covered the entire spectrum of the services we have, but in a much less sophisticated way. This web site literally speaks to the viewer. We actually have a representative of the hospital who greets you."

According to Applegate, the site represents a new marketing strategy for the hospital, leveraging social media elements and other "Web 2.0" features, such as cheer cards, quality reports, event calendars with pre-registration options, RSS ( Really Simple Syndication) feeds, and multimedia galleries.

The new site will also feature a wellness section, patient testimonies, and "Healthbreak," a series of 90-second videos of Southern Regional physicians explaining the areas of health care in which they specialize.

"Our new site reflects the changing perception of Southern Regional in our marketplace," Applegate said. "The viewer can look at animated movies about a number of procedures that we do, none of which was available on the site before. It has a much greater richness of information and is much more interactive, in terms of use."

Southern Regional President and CEO Clint Matthews said he believes the site will greatly lift the hospital's profile. "The new web site does more than enhance Southern Regional's visibility," Matthews said in a prepared statement. "In very real ways, it enhances the community's access to us and the services we offer ... It is an open door into the remarkable care and treatment options available to metro Atlanta residents.

"As a premiere health care facility, we are constantly evolving and adopting new technologies to enhance our utility to the community, and the web site is just the latest example of that," he said.

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On the Web: www.southernregional.org