As noted on the whitehouse.gov blog, Google and Microsoft standardized how to markup web pages with trusted COVID related information, such as: testing locations, revised clinic office hours, and even reporting daily CDC resource utilization as a viable alternative to submitting spreadsheets, per Secretary Azar’s letter.
News and publicly shared information related to COVID-19 is rapidly changing, with many health systems and payers posting information to their own websites or sharing via social media. If your organization is sharing COVID-related information on your website, CareJourney has been working with the major search engines to make that information easier to find for consumers via website markup standards.
Search engine optimization is a collaboration among the teams at Google and Microsoft utilizing schema.org standards for website markup. Schema.org is a standards community and initiative launched as a means to define a common set up structured metadata for websites that allow the information on each webpage to be captured by search engines. Metadata is the underlying data that describes a website and is what allows the search engines to know specifically what information each webpage is sharing. In a recently posted schema blog, there are new, updated schema data elements that allow “SpecialAnnouncement”, “CovidTestingFacility”, and “eventAttendanceMode” documentation on health system websites. Utilizing these consistently will enable search engines to easily collect and publicly share COVID-related information. Bing has also recently posted a blog on their site as well, providing additional information and instructions.
Providers marking up their websites in a structured way allows for streamlined, trusted data compilation and trusted sites can be whitelisted and crawled for real-time data discovery by search engines. This is a huge step in accurate information sharing with consumers who need to find COVID information and testing sites and will also allow the government to display the most real-time information possible