5 Reasons Your Healthcare Organization Needs Content as a Service

Healthwise Communications Team

What exactly is Content as a Service (CaaS)? Here’s the techy definition: It’s structured, nimble content that enables organizations to seamlessly combine their own messaging with health education and patient engagement content from a trusted health content provider within their own applications.


Uh, okay. But what does this mean in layman’s terms, and why is it so great from the healthcare organization’s perspective?

CaaS gives you access to a library of content your organization can use in a variety of ways. Each piece of content is short, concise, and predictable, and it contains metadata to make it easy to search for. This is often referred to as “structured content” or “modular content” because each piece can be used in an infinite number of ways with other pieces to create a finished product.

Picture a set of LEGOs, where each piece is formatted to fit with the others. By combining blocks, you can create virtually anything you want, from a simple multicolored wall to a Millennium Falcon.

With CaaS, each “block” is a chunk of text, a graphic, or a video. You can use one by itself for a simple social media post, or combine several to create an entire web page. The sky’s the limit—no engineering degree required.

More healthcare organizations than ever are choosing this structured content approach for their patient and member portals, websites, social media, and community outreach. Here are just five reasons your organization should be using it too.


1. Easily deliver targeted education to your audience.

Structured content makes it easier for your organization to focus on your expertise and educate specific audiences. You can deliver manageable amounts of targeted information at just the right time instead of overwhelming people with long, comprehensive topics.

Think of information geared toward someone with diabetes. CaaS topics, graphics, and videos might include the symptoms of diabetes, self-management of diabetes, and the complications of mismanaged diabetes. You can even engage children with health content and videos developed just for them.

2. Most of the work is already done for you.

Writing and maintaining your own health content becomes increasingly difficult, especially when you take stock of just how many time-consuming tasks go into each individual piece:

  • Writing the copy
  • Designing the layout
  • Creating graphics
  • Shooting and editing videos
  • User testing
  • Medical reviews

And that’s just what it takes to create new content—it doesn’t include the ongoing reviews of existing material to make sure everything stays up to date in the ever-changing world of medicine.

With CaaS, you don’t have to worry about creating and maintaining health information. Focus your resources on content that’s specific to your organization, like your About Us page, services, staff, and company success stories. Rely on a trusted health information vendor who specializes in up-to-date, evidence-based, patient-friendly content to provide the health education component, and your team can promote your state-of-the art cancer treatment or the opening of a new pediatric wing—whatever your organization wants to share or celebrate.


3. Never worry again about whether your content is up to date.

One of the best features of CaaS is that you’ll know you always have the most current health content—a good content provider will regularly review and update it for you. CaaS is hosted by the content provider and delivered via modern APIs. This means you can count on always providing the most up-to-date content without having to re-implement or manually update anything. This frees up scarce and expensive IT resources for the many other technology projects your organization needs to prioritize.

When one hospital recently took stock of their health content as part of a patient experience initiative, they were shocked to find a piece of patient education that hadn’t been updated since 1978! They decided to use one content provider for all their material so it would always be current and consistent.

4. CaaS blends seamlessly with your own branding.

The structured content delivered through CaaS is free from presentation. Think of it as the cans generic food used to come in, with the plain black and white labels—there’s no branding or identifying information on it. It comes to you as HTML fragments so you can fully control the user interface and user experience.

People will enjoy a cohesive experience that’s consistent with your brand. As far as your patients and members can tell, your team wrote the copy, designed the graphics, and filmed the videos. Because the content is accurate and engaging, your audience will come to view you as a trusted source of health information, and they’re more likely to come back to you when they have questions or need help.

5. Use the same content in multiple ways.

CaaS provides a high level of customization so you can target each person’s needs, but don’t be afraid to use the same content more than once—reinventing the wheel for every single use case just doesn’t make sense.

CaaS makes it easy to reuse structured content in a thousand ways. Your organization can use the same pieces of information in multiple applications, use cases, or devices, ensuring that your patients get consistent information across the board.

For instance, let’s say the CaaS library has a video on how to properly wash your hands that you find particularly useful. Here are some examples of the many ways you could use that one video:

  • Post it on social media.
  • Embed it into a web page on your site devoted to COVID-19.
  • Include it on your portal and assign it to patients.
  • Email or text it in your next campaign during flu season or coronavirus upticks.

Let Structured Content Do the Heavy Lifting

Getting started with Content as a Service is easier than you might think. Healthcare systems and health plans that have made the switch have great things to say about how seamlessly it fit into their existing workflows and freed up company resources. To get even more ideas about specific use cases, read “6 Ways Your Healthcare System Should Use Content as a Service” and download “Structured Content for Health Emergencies,” a success story showing how CaaS helped one hospital respond to an emergent health threat in hours instead of weeks.