Most physicians and healthcare administrators think of their medical website as a useful tool to acquire new patients. The reality is that it can be much more. Your medical website is an effective tool to service your existing patients and referring physicians and improve your practice workflow. Here are a few practical ideas to make that happen.
1. Add a blog
Set-up a blog on your website and then post helpful tips, articles and answers to frequently asked questions you routinely get from patients. As you add information to your blog, this area of your website becomes a wonderful resource where you can direct folks to when the next patient asks that same question.
2. Add patient prep videos
Think of how many times you stepped a patient through how to prep for an upcoming procedure or diagnostic exam. Some days you just want to hit the re-play button. Well here’s a great tip… grab a camcorder and record a video of yourself reviewing each prep. Then upload those videos to your YouTube account (yes that means you need to sign up for one). From there, simply add the YouTube embed code to a page on your website. Now you can simply direct patients to watch the video while you’re seeing your next patient.
3. Add a demo of your patient portal
Driving patients to your portal is a wonderful thing but what happens if they don’t understand how to use it once they get there? Online demos are commonly used to educate folks on how to use an application. Simply create a step-by-step tutorial on how to use your portal then link your demo up to a page on your website. You don’t even need to buy new software to do this. CaptureFox is a nice Firefox add-on that can record screens frame-by-frame to create your tutorial.
4. Collect and report outcomes
We are a data driven society. Why not harness your website to collect/compile data and then report outcomes in the aggregate. A picture paints a thousand words. Utilizing free graphing tools, such as Google Charts, you can easily create your outcomes data graphs. Add a section to your website to then display this information. Looking for a great example, click here.
5. Collect patient reviews
You’ve seen them everywhere on the web – physician review sites. Harness the opportunity and hand an iPad over to a patient or direct them to a old machine you have set-up as a kiosk at check-out. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind taking a minute to rate their physician. Having a patient reviews section on your website will allow them to select the review site of choice and easily contribute their feedback. Having a patient reviews widget added to your website allows you to not only moderate this feedback but add unique content to your website, which search engines love!
Be sure to monitor your patient reviews… yes you heard it right. Monitor what patients are saying on physician review or social sites and contribute to the discussion. If a nice comment was made, a note of thanks is a nice touch. If a negative comment was left, you should respond generally without providing any information that would identify the patient. Don’t forget to link up your social media sites to your practice website so that you have an integrated presence on the web.
Thanks to the web, marketing and patient service have evolved and become much more integrated. This new medium will eventually morph into a virtual customer service center, where two-way dialogue is facilitated by social media. That will be a topic for my next blog post.