Website redesign in a maternity setting: Co-designing a resource for consumer support and education
Women want to be informed about their healthcare. Google searches provide an accessible option for women during pregnancy, but the content is largely unmonitored. Women have expressed dissatisfaction and confusion about receiving conflicting information from clinicians across the maternity service. It is essential for providers to offer person-centred care and listen to the voices of consumers. If the aim is to provide a service women want to use, women must have the opportunity to voice what they want. The local health district (LHD) maternity website development project aimed to redesign maternity website pages over 12 months to meet community needs and increase hits to the site by 70% within six months. Consumers were approached to participate through maternity services in a regional Australian health district where approximately 3,500 babies are born yearly. In a three-phase participatory action research study, researchers identified the areas of concern for consumers, worked with them to co-design and implement a new website, and evaluated the changes. Almost 20% of women who birthed from January to March 2022 responded to the evaluation survey. Half of these had explored the website. After the upgrades, the number of hits to the district website service page increased by 875 (from 124 to 999). Post-development surveys showed that women who felt they received inconsistent information at the hospital during their pregnancy were more likely to visit the website for clarification (p = 0.009). Of women who visited the website, 78% found the information useful, and 73% said they would use it again. This study highlighted that women engaging in maternity services desire access to relevant, quality information through digital technology. Maternity website development improvements increased patient satisfaction and reduced confusion, providing a reliable source of accessible health information for consumers.