Healthcare brands frequently struggle to understand their patients’ needs a particularly online. Websites are often lacking core components that could potentially answer a patient’s questions right away. When the information is either buried deep within a website’s pages or simply nonexistent, patients grow frustrated or at the very least, feel disconnected from the brand.
A health care brand’s overarching objectives will serve as a baseline for determining the goals of a website, and content creation should shortly follow. We discussed the importance of building pages based on the keywords visitors are searching, but there are other pieces that must be included in your website to ensure the patients’ expectations are met. These necessary pages can transform your website into a patient-centric resource for maintaining health. Patient expectations include:
- Services Information
- Detailed Support Pages
- Physician Information
1. Services Information
Whether for yourself or someone else, there has probably been a point during which you searched for a health care service online. Patients in this age are turning to search engines to seek medical information a from symptoms to post-surgery instructions a and websites must present answers. Health care brands are finally understanding this reality. Listing the services your hospital provides is the bare minimum. Humans are curious creatures; we are no longer satisfied with the bare minimum. In addition to discovering what services are offered, we want to know treatment details, such as:
- What procedures may be required
- How long recovery will take
- Preventative care a doctor will recommend
- Patient success stories
And as mentioned in our warning against leased content, searchers aren’t interested in generic content; they want to know what separates your hospital from the others.
2. Detailed Support Pages
Patients search for health care solutions at different stages. It’s important to provide support for each phase in a patient’s journey toward better health. Battling a medical condition is emotionally and physically draining in itself; by simplifying the patient’s to-do list, a brand can get on a patient’s good side before he or she has even stepped inside the lobby. Visitors need to be able to find basic contact information without a lot of clicks. This includes:
- Parking information a and any costs involved
- Address of main facility
- Phone numbers
- Email address for more information
- A map of the hospital layout (internal and external)
This info should be tailored to the specific service a visitor is searching, especially if the hospital spans several buildings on its campus. From personal experience, I know how frustrating it is to find out you have parked on the opposite end of where you need to be.
In addition to the basic details listed above, health care providers should consider assembling resources that deliver even more support for current or potential patients. Dukhealth.org is full of phenomenal information for each service offered. This alleviates potential stress and concerns by fully preparing patients with what they can expect during their appointments. You should offer information regarding:
- What to bring for checking in
- Checking in procedures
- Discharge procedures
- Dining and cafeteria information
- Nearby lodging information for family
- FAQ page for specific service line
3. Staff Pages
While many hospitals have a core “find a physician” page, it can be difficult for a patient to find the doctor he or she is looking for. An ideal user experience leads to physicians through multiple channels. For example, each service line should link to the specific physicians who are experts in that field. It’s comforting for visitors to familiarize themselves with a doctor’s face, name, recognitions, and short bio. Not to mention, having this information can assist in directing those searching a physician’s name in Google to the hospital website instead of to doctor rating websites that may or may not portray the doctor in a positive light. Additionally, hospital websites should consider cycling their physicians throughout the website a even on the homepage. When an institution proudly displays the names and faces of their physicians, patients appreciate both the transparency from the brand and the opportunity to learn more about the capable doctors available. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, for example, shows photos of actual doctors working instead of resorting to stock photos.
Doctors aren’t the only members of health care organizations that deserve recognition. Patients spend just as much time with nurses, medical staff, and administrators, and showcasing the names, titles, and photos of these essential staff members can humanize the website, providing a sense of warmth and empathy.
Core Components Conclusion
We’ve all experienced health issues at one time or another, so we can fairly easily grasp what it is patients are seeking online. A health care website can serve as a thoughtful information hub for potential and returning patients, but accomplishing this task can be challenging as expectations continue to rise. The ultimate goal of your content is to carry patients from the computer screen to the doors of a health care facility. People appreciate convenience in finding thorough, empathetic, and straightforward website content.