Client:The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA)
Date:April 14, 2016

The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) Innovative Website Design & Navigation

analyzing and making available to various stakeholders data on the healthcare in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its audience ranges from policy makers, to healthcare insurers, providers, researchers and the general public seeking to understand how the Commonwealth performs in key measurable areas such as cost, quality and access to healthcare.

Polar Design carefully crafted a website design and navigation that makes CHIA’s health information accessible while demonstrating CHIA’s role in helping its audience understand the complexities of health data and information.

CHIA and Polar Design developed a unique “story” based method of organizing and presenting the available information Polar Design executed with an equally unique user architecture and design.  Polar Design integrated an accordion navigation among sub-pages and cross linking via tags to connect the relationship between data and meaning to help visitors struggling to find organization in their own thinking about health information and data.

CHIAThe “story” approach comprised the site of three audience-specific channels. The main channel, “Health Information and Analysis”, serves as an introduction to the many facets of CHIA’s offerings. The “Data” channel serves as the stepping stone to access various types of data, and the “About” channel provides users with information on CHIA as an agency.  The Health information channel in particular allows cross-linking of articles and data between the “Stories” thus providing visitors with different search strategies easy access to information that does not always fall into a typical hierarchy.

For example, researchers want to access data on various topics. The Data channel breaks down CHIA’s available data into sections such as hospitals, payments and expenditures, costs reports and finance, etc. For healthcare providers and insurance companies, some of this data will be relevant, but they will also want to visit the Health information channel to see CHIA’s analysis on the Massachusetts healthcare landscape including costs, quality and access to care. Legislators and policymakers may focus more on key bits of information rather than entire datasets, so the Health information and About channels are most useful to them. Overall, the breakdown of channels and “stories” within the channels provides CHIA with the opportunity to effectively reach each of their audience segments.

Above is a sub-page under the Health Information channel; CHIA connects relevant information on this page to other parts of the site. For example, “CHIA’s unique data sets” links to the Data channel while “Spending and Insurance Coverage” and “Acute Hospital Utilization and Financial Performance” link to specific parts of the table below to simplify user experience.