First impressions matter, both online and in real life. Today’s patients are flocking to Google to search for information on treatment options and vet local providers who perform those treatments. Therefore, it’s important that your medical website follow a comprehensive digital strategy that combines best practices for effective and accessible website navigation, engaging and informative health-related content, and useful website features that help your visitors find what they are looking for.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features that are the foundation of impressive digital experiences in healthcare.
Today every medical website should be secured with a secure certificate (SSL), especially if you are collecting electronic patient health information, or ePHI, from your site. The HIPAA Security Rule provides specific guidelines for the transmission of and access to ePHI. If your website will collect patient information, the security of your website is a critical element that should not be overlooked.
Searchable Provider Directory
According to a recent Healthcare Digital Marketing Survey, most health consumers prefer to search for a doctor via an online searchable directory. If your practice employs several providers, a searchable directory is a helpful tool to have on your website. In addition to search by name, specialty or location, directory provider profiles can include information about their training, areas of focus, conditions they treat, their care team, publications, and awards. The ability to add Schema.org markup to profiles as well as ratings and reviews integration is a plus.
HIPAA Compliant Appointment Form
The most effective healthcare websites convert website visitors into patients. If you’re getting lots of website traffic but few appointment requests (conversions), it might be time to consider adding a HIPAA complaint online form that will allow your visitors to request an appointment anytime, right from your website.
Online Patient Intake Forms
Online patient intake forms are the next step for healthcare providers who are looking to improve not only their patient’s experience with you but also their practice operations. For too long, patients hurried to get to their doctor’s appointment only to spend the first half of their appointment completing lengthy, time-consuming health history and insurance forms. Enabling HIPAA compliant Patient Intake forms will allow you to offer convenient online access to patients so that they can complete these forms before they arrive. They save time, you are more efficient.
HIPAA Compliant Chat
Today more and more people rely on their mobile devices for communication, especially as it relates to chat or text. It’s no surprise that these same folks expect the same communication options from their doctors. With a HIPAA compliant chat and text, providers can safely and efficiently communicate with individuals who seek medical attention, and patients can share details with their doctor via text and video to receive recommendations for care.
Healthcare Pricing Directory
Effective January 2021, all hospitals will need to post their standard and negotiated fees on their website. Whether mandated or not, providing pricing information to patients allows them to better understand and prepare for the cost of their care. By adding an online pricing directory to your healthcare website, patients can easily search or filter by service type to obtain standard pricing information by procedure code.
Comprehensive Health Content Library & Videos
Provide your users with an extensive library of content covering conditions, treatments, medications, testing, and wellness. Health topics can be searched alphabetically or by using a symptom checker. Featured topics, patient education videos, and interactive tools provide a wealth of health-related content to your site to enhance patient education.
Effective January 2018, all healthcare websites are required to meet WCAG 2.1 AA website accessibility standards. Using accessible design elements such as high-contrast colors, easy to use keyboard navigation, image alt text, and more will allow screen readers to accurately read and interpret content for those users with a visual impairment.
Also, a requirement under WCAG 2.1 AA, enabling website search will allow users to easily and quickly search your website for services, news, articles, events, providers, and locations.
From your home page banner to the use of infographics, the consistent use of rich, colorful imagery helps to promote a feeling of health and well-being. The use of imagery when providing information on complex topics can enhance the users’ understanding of the materials provided.
Think It’s Time for Your Healthcare Website to Stand Out From the Rest?
Whether you’re trying to acquire new patients or better serve existing, your practice website is essential to helping you connect with patients and referring physicians. Adding these key features will ensure that your practice’s site will meet the needs of today’s patients.
At Practis, we have over 22 years of experience designing and developing high-performing websites for medical and dental practices, hospitals and healthcare companies. Reach out to us to learn more about enhancing your healthcare website.