In the fall of 2015, Delaware Hospital launched a web development business called Shopify, and now the hospital is preparing to sell its domain name to a private equity firm.
The company, which was founded by a group of local developers, aims to make its website a “community resource” for hospitals, which is why it was selected by the state of Delaware to be its sole domain name for the state’s new website.
“We’ve always wanted to do a website,” says Rob Rieder, co-founder of the company.
“We’ve wanted to get the word out, but we haven’t had a lot of traction with any of the big sites, or even with our own brand.”
Delaware Hospital, which operates about 1,500 healthcare facilities, announced its decision to sell the domain name, and its website, on its website on Thursday.
“Delaware is home to one of the nation’s largest and best health systems, with a wide variety of health-related businesses in its portfolio,” the announcement said.
“Its high-performing website has been the subject of many discussions with major clients, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to bring the site to the public once more.”
The hospital, which will also take over its current website, has already begun selling the domain to a group who are looking to expand the business.
Its website is set to be a “social” site, which means that visitors can interact with each other by signing up for email newsletters and news alerts.
In the future, Delaware will also add a variety of “branding” options to the site, including a Facebook page, an Instagram page, and a Flickr page.
“There’s a whole lot more we want to do,” says Riedel.
“This is really our first big step, and I think it will be a very big one.”
Rieder says that the company has no plans to change the logo of the hospital, the word “Delaware” or the date of its founding.
Delaware Healthcare, the health system, has been in business for nearly 50 years, and has an annual budget of about $7.5 billion.
The hospital’s website, which serves as a hub for its many social media accounts, is already in beta.
“If we can get to a point where we can really show what our site is about, then we’ll probably open up a public beta,” says Dave DeLuca, Delaware’s communications director.
“But we have no plans right now to do that.
We’re not ready for that yet.”
Delay in website sales has been a major issue for Delaware.
Last year, it became the first hospital in the country to run a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform.
The campaign raised more than $3 million, but it was canceled shortly after.
While many hospitals have faced similar issues in the past, Rieders hopes that the hospital’s sudden move to sell will help alleviate the frustration of patients and their families.
“Hopefully this is going to get a lot more people on board,” he says.
“I think we’re going to see a lot less delays, and people can go back to their normal life, and it’s going to help us continue to grow.”