Posted: November 7, 2017

Consumers today are more engaged with their own medical care than ever before. The interconnectivity of the internet is allowing consumers to gain access to their care providers and medical records whenever and wherever they want, and that means healthcare organizations have to take extra steps to ensure hospital websites are up-to-date. Here's what every hospital needs to be asking in order to provide better website experiences for patients and consumers.

Is It Responsive and Mobile-Friendly?
There is nothing more frustrating for a consumer than the inability to access the information they need. When a hospital website is unresponsive or slow to load, consumers get frustrated and walk away from the process, which could create a loss of business for your organization or even a hurdle that complicates important matters of care.

Additionally, the majority of consumers rely on their mobile devices when looking up important information -- in healthcare this could mean checking upcoming appointments or communicating with care providers. Consumers live and die by mobile access, and having your website optimized for mobile viewers can make a difference when it comes to keeping the lines of communication open.

Are Our Locations Optimized?
Location optimization is integral to any health system. Ensure your website has specific information delineated by location or facility so that consumers can find the information they need quickly and without hassle.

This becomes important for any organization that has multiple locations and facilities throughout a specific geographical area. No one wants to travel miles out of their way when a local facility will suit their needs just as well or better, but if your hospital website doesn't have that information easily available, you're effectively forcing consumers away from your organization, just to receive proper care. Plus, including this information on your site positively affects your search engine ranking.

Do We Have Dynamic and Engaging Provider Profiles?
Consumers need to know where they need to go in order to address specific needs. A hospital site should clearly delineate what types of services are available at a specific facility so consumers can find the right provider for them. Dynamic provider profiles can create a consumer experience on your website that helps you stand out. Your site also needs to include other crucial content like office policies, which types of insurance a provider takes, the names and educational backgrounds of providers at a particular facility, and so on.

Do We Offer On-Site Ratings and Reviews?
Consumers have a choice when it comes to their care providers. You want your patients to feel comfortable that they made the right choice in choosing your facility or location, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is by providing high levels of transparency.

Highlight your facility's strengths and address its weaknesses by displaying your hospital and provider feedback. Encouraging patients to rate their level of care and post reviews of their experiences at your hospital or within your system can help assure them that you do value their opinions and that you take their satisfaction seriously. This kind of transparency will also positively influence your search engine ranking.

Can We Personalize our Consumers' Experience?
Impersonal, monolithic care provider websites offer isolated and impersonal experiences, reducing what should be a trusted and personal relationship between provider and patient to a clinical business transaction. That's why having a content management system set up for personalized online experiences can be a game changer.

Dynamic landing pages and calls-to-action throughout your site, personalized based on consumer or behavioral data, help your consumers feel welcome and understood when they visit your site.

Personalizing patient interactions through a hospital website also increases effective care. A site that allows patients to communicate directly with providers, schedule appointments, renew prescriptions, and check on test results encourages those patients to stay connected and provides for better overall outcomes.

Is It Useful And Easy to Use?
An effective hospital website is more than just pretty to look at. While visually pleasing aesthetics are indeed important, a website's efficacy needs both a pleasing form and proper functionality.

Having a hospital website that offers a more community-centric experience to consumers is key in creating and maintaining trust between patient and provider. Offering the right information to consumers in a format that is easy to understand and paves the way for two-way communication between provider and patient leads to better patient retention, better care, and better business outcomes for your organization.

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