For today’s medical practice, it’s crucial to have a website that is both desktop- and mobile-friendly, especially if you’re looking to add more patients to your practice. Prospective and current patients want to be able to access information about your practice, your clinicians’ credentials, the contact information and hours of your practice – and they want to know that all of the information is current and accurate. If you’re happy with your current website, read on to see how your practice can better utilize available services.
In-House or Outsource the Website Design?
These days, website design does not necessarily require highly developed skillset. There are many website hosting and template companies that offer very user-friendly and intuitive website design and hosting services. ’re not even that expensive. Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress are all popular for website building.
You can also hire a web design professional to build and maintain your website, but that route will almost definitely be more expensive. Plus, you’ll have a middleman to contact if you need to adjust any information or have questions. My advice? – Hire a website professional and INVEST in your website.
Include this Information
Think like a patient: If you’re going to a business’s website, what do you want to see? Address, hours, contact information (phone and email), clinicians’ credentials, to start. But for a medical practice, you have even more options to make the experience better and more informative for a patient. Consider posting PDFs of the forms new patients would need to fill out at the office, so they can print and fill them out at home and bring them in for their first appointment. An FAQ section is also a good idea: Save your reception staff time by including information about what patients should expect and what they should bring for their first visit.
Top tip: If you’re paying a professional to design your website, strongly consider adding a patient portal. The portal would, of course, need to be compliant with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and generally be super secure. But patients appreciate the ease and convenience of accessing their health information without needing to contact or visit the practitioner’s office.
Don’t Forget Billing Info
Consider having a way for patients to pay their bills securely from the comfort of their own computers or mobile devices. If patients use a safe online payment tool, your desk staff are freed from the phone to pursue other necessary tasks.
Utilize Website Analytics
If you’re looking for new patients, especially, make sure you’re utilizing the analytics function of your website host. You can see how many people visit your site, which pages they frequent, and even figure out how they accessed your website, such as from a search engine or Facebook. If your practice is interested in internet marketing to bring in new patients, this information is crucial to knowing where to target your advertising budget.
Consider a Blog
If you want new and current patients to keep coming back to your website, you’ll need fresh content. Consider posting a blog. You can profile different staff members, so patients better understand that your practice employs particularly knowledgeable or, perhaps, interesting people. While most experts recommend against giving blanket medical advice on a website, you could link to the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) articles about influenza prevention during flu season, for example.
Make Everyone Feel Welcome
Make sure any photos are inclusive of your local area’s demographics. If any of your staff can speak multiple languages, include that on your site. If you have a large local population whose first language is not English, consider having another whole website in that language, if your staff is equipped to communicate and provide medical care in another language. Similarly, if your practice offers an income-dependent sliding scale for fees and services, mention that on your website.
Advertise Open Positions
Don’t forget to include any open staff positions on your site. If you live in a seasonal tourist destination and hire more staff during high season, include that information on your website. Consider adding a page about what it’s like to live in the area and some of the biggest draws, so you can make sure you’re attracting the best talent to your practice. If you have a multi-location practice, you can easily aggregate any open jobs on one page.
Have questions? I’m here to help.