The National institute for sickness and disability insurance RIZIV-INAMI is there for everyone, clear and digital

The National institute for sickness and disability insurance (RIZIV-INAMI) arranges compulsory insurance for medical care and benefits for almost all Belgian citizens. The RIZIV-INAMI’s public website contains a whole load of information for various target groups from all layers of the population. Understandability and a surveyable structure are an absolute  necessity to guarantee the quality and usefulness of the content. Together with Realdolmen the RIZIV-INAMI managed to develop www.riziv. be into an attractive and widely accessible platform.


Since 1964, the RIZIV-INAMI has been organizing, managing and monitoring Belgian insurance for medical care and benefits. This compulsory insurance covers the financial consequences of illness and accidents, as well as motherhood, adoption and invalidity. The RIZIV-INAMI is a federal institution that acts as an independent consultative body between health insurance companies, individual care providers, health facilities and the representatives of unions and employers. The RIZIVINAMI determines, among others, the rules and rates for the reimbursement of medical services and medication and the conditions for statutory benefits. The thread in all these tasks is a correct and transparent service for civilians.

The RIZIV-INAMI’s 50th anniversary was given the necessary media attention and was celebrated with a whole series of events. But the milestone was also a time to think about sustainability, accessibility and the quality of the offer. It soon turned out that clear communication with the various target groups was one of the top priorities.


As Program Manager for the RIZIV-INAMI, Erwin Knuyt was closely involved in the development of the renewed website. “The RIZIV-INAMI’s website is very well visited by a varied audience. 85% of visitors is there for professional purposes. This includes physicians, health insurance companies, etc. The remaining 15% are civilians. We count up to 15,000 unique visitors a day, who consult on average three to five pages. This is an enormous activity. This is because our site offers a treasure of information and simultaneously serves as an archive for internal staff.”


“The RIZIV-INAMI believes that all target groups should know their rights, but also their duties,” Knuyt continues. “www. riziv.be/www.inami.be intends to be the unique site where this information can be found in a comprehensible form. Over the years, our previous website had developed into a comprehensive, but poorly organized source of data without a search function. And the technology the site used was outdated. At the end of 2011 our chairman Jo De Cock decided that there was a need for a user-friendly, modern website with a decent search function. Deputy chairman Benoît Collin led the steering committee responsible for shaping this innovation from the start. This involvement of the management underlined the importance of the project and helped ensure that all divisions took their input and contribution seriously. We therefore worked both topdown and bottom-up. Even external visitors were questioned. Only this way we could succeed in shifting from our internal logic and developing our business case from outside to inside. We learned to listen to the language and needs of the various target groups.”


The objective was to completely renew RIZIV-INAMI’s public website, departing from a well thought-out interaction with the target groups. Erwin Knuyt: “Findability and readability were the keywords. All existing information had to end up in a new, logical, tree structure, divided over nine subjects that, after the survey, turned out to be the most relevant for our target groups. No sinecure. To be able to provide the right information we also needed an extensive and clear search function. And to make the information offered comprehensible, extra attention had to be paid to the legibility of each section of web text. We work with a bilingual editorial board of ten people coming from the central cell communication of the INAMI. All content is delivered by more than 50 editors from the various departments of the INAMI. The central cell communication has ensured that all editors adopt the same writing style, with the right tone and appealing titles. We also wanted a recognizable, attractive site in line with the look & feel of the belgium.be portal. Serious, fresh and future-oriented.


In 2012 the concept for the new website was developed with a third party, the structure was laid down and the so-called wire frames were determined. The conscious decision was made to let the site run on SharePoint 2010. Dominique Michaux, Deputy director ICT explains why: “SharePoint 2010 was already being used at the RIZIV-INAMI, the platform is multi-functional and provides many possibilities for future applications. After the selection procedure, Realdolmen turned out to be the ideal partner for the implementation. SharePoint is one of their strengths, plus they presented some great reference cases.” At the end of 2012 Realdolmen came up with a first infrastructure draft and the graphic design was validated. “It had to be tested against SharePoint options” adds Knuyt. “One of the starting points of the RIZIV-INAMI was that we wanted little bespoke software. The project had to be as cost-efficient as possible and the budget was not to be exceeded. Choosing Realdolmen turned out to be the right choice as they did a great job.”


Early in 2013 Realdolmen took over the concept from the graphic design agency and started with a phased, iterative approach based on the Realdolmen Project Management Framework. Erwin Knuyt defends this approach: “In a period of six times six weeks - called the six builds - the website was built up in a modular way. We could evaluate after each build. We soon got an idea of at least part of the solution and we could adjust where necessary. An iterative completion also has the advantage that formal acceptance takes place after each build, thus preventing unpleasant surprises at the end.” Realdolmen’s six-headed project team was at the RIZIV-INAMI one day a week to be able to adjust and test the customer’s expectations against SharePoint 2010’s possibilities. “The RIZIV-INAMI didn’t have enough knowledge of SharePoint” admits Michaux. “Realdolmen regularly showed us new features and thus helped us make maximum use of the software and take the right decisions.


Between September 2013 and May 2014 the 1,500 existing pages were rewritten in two languages and uploaded by the editorial team. To optimize this process, the RIZIV-INAMI ordered custom-made training from Realdolmen. “Their many years’ expertise in providing this training was an extra advantage”, says Knuyt. “Our editors were trained in using SharePoint 2010 in general, and adapting and uploading the content in particular. Realdolmen also thoroughly trained our web masters After all, our very own RIZIV-INAMI services are responsible for the everyday management of the site.”


Knuyt looks back with satisfaction: “We may have underestimated the amount of work and our lack of knowledge of SharePoint 2010 as web publishing platform was a disadvantage. But Realdolmen anticipated this correctly. Thanks to their tight project management the presupposed timing and the estimated budget were respected. A great way of working together.”

The National institute for sickness and disability insurance RIZIV-INAMI is there for everyone, clear and digital

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