This amazing article explains how two usability consultants responded when they went into a hospital to interview website users and discovered that patients and families were not even really engaging with the website, because it didn't occur to them.
So they threw away their preconceived notions and went with the real stories of the people using the service, and developed a proper patient engagement strategy including things like sending a follow-up email with reliable sources of information and links to videos of people talking about their experiences with cancer.
They did this by creating a safe space for people to talk about what was often the worst day of their lives, and they really listened to people's emotions.
We sometimes forget that customers are human beings and human beings are driven by emotion, especially during critical life events. Prior to walking into the interview room we’d thought we might unearth some hidden problems around parking at the ER, navigating the hospital, and, of course, issues with the website content. But those issues were so eclipsed by all of the emotions surrounding a hospital visit that they came to seem irrelevant. Not being able to find parking at the ER is annoying, but more important was not knowing what you were supposed to do next because you’d just been told you have cancer, or because you feared for your child’s life. By digging deeper into this core insight, we were able to provide recommendations that went beyond websites, and instead took the entire human experience into account.