Patients have become strongly empowered by the Internet, searching for and acquiring information about local doctors before they book an appointment. For some practices, appointment booking can be done online or insurance forms can be filled out and submitted electronically. The ease with which prospective patients can digitally find and commit to a local physician makes an online presence more critical than ever for health care practitioners. Yet the quality of one’s presence can affect the degree to which said online presence functions as an advantage.
A practice website in the most basic type of presence a physician can establish, yet it is arguably the most important. Patients need to be able to easily and quickly access critical information like office hours, contact information, physician qualifications, insurance information, and available services. Even if this information is listed somewhere on the website, it is likely to be overlooked if it is not in clear view of digital visitors. Given the rapid pace with which patients can search and skim through sites, little time will be given to the frustrating process of navigating through a disorganized or confusing site. If the information is not quickly found, the visitor is quickly lost. Other dangers to be avoided when formatting and designing a website:
Only including written content- graphics and practice logos are a must.
Lack of links to separate information
Inconsistent font styles and sizes
Despite the precautions that should be taken in formatting a website, one should not be led to believe that the process is too complicated a feat. Using a website developer with a straightforward formatting configuration will take the hassle and complexity out of the designing process.
Owning and operating a website does not have to be expensive, either. There are a number of hosts available to choose from, and it is crucial to consider the ways in which having a website will save and even generate money. Transitioning to a digital platform can reduce a practice’s dependence on print advertising, and the positive attention secured will generate new business. Utilizing SEO methods is a necessary to secure this attention, however, so content must be thoughtfully crafted and updated.
Having a website is crucial, even if the design work must be outsourced due to time constraints or a desire for convenience.