There has been a shift in the role of the patient from passive recipient to active consumer, witnessed by the fact that health information is one of the most frequently sought topics on the Internet. As more patients search the Internet for local physicians and medical information, an online presence for your practice is becoming increasingly important to be successful in a highly competitive market.
For the “Internet-informed” patient, choosing a doctor online has become routine. Creating your own Web site can be an invaluable tool to attract new patients. But attracting new patients is just the beginning of the benefits your own Web site can deliver.
No matter what your specialty, having your own Web site can prove to be a much-needed resource to develop deeper relationships with your current patients, instill a sense of trust in potential patients, convey information that your patients will find useful, increase awareness of your services, offer patient education, and expand your practice.
For example, your Web site enables you to provide value-added services for your existing and new patients:
- Disseminate information to educate your patients about various diseases and treatments
- Provide an overview of procedures used to treat the conditions in which your clinic specializes
- List symptoms patients should be concerned about after their procedure
- Give your patients the option of making their own appointments online
- Post all the forms patients may need so that they can print and complete them before their visit
- Answer routine patient queries via e-mail, which you can respond to at your convenience, cutting down on the callbacks you have to make
- Post the office hours of your clinic
- Provide directions to your office
To make a warm, personal connection with current and prospective patients, you can post your photo and professional profile, education, and specialty on your Web site, as well as photos and bios of your office staff.
Resources to help physicians get their Web site up and running:
Putting up a Web site has become very easy, and it can be hosted at nominal cost. Experienced professional Web site designers specializing in building sites for physicians can create cutting-edge features tailored to the specific needs of your practice, with an eye on making your site HIPAA compliant. These companies can “brand” your practice and also make your site rank high on search engines such as Google.
The following companies work with physicians or office staff to produce custom medical Web sites that can attract and engage both new and current patients. They can design, manage, and even market your Web site if desired. They can create everything that is required for your Web site, including custom menus, animation, photographs, and other eye-catching graphics and pertinent content:
So why not join the health care technology revolution and showcase your practice with your own Web site!
- Borglum K. Q&A: Does my practice need a Web site? Modern Medicine. http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmedicine/Modern+Medicine+Now/QampA-Does-my-practice-need-a-Web-site/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/600846.
- Cosentino S. Why every physician should have an effective medical Website. Ezine Articles. http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-Every-Physician-Should-Have-an-Effective-Medical-Website&id=6516874.
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- McMullan M. Patients using the Internet to obtain health information: how this affects the patient-health professional relationship.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16406474.
- Patel A. Why every doctor should have their own website? Information Super Specialist. http://www.informationsuperspecialist.com/2008/06/why-every-doctor-should-have-their-own.html.
- Why doctor’s clinic should have a Website. Wix Learning Center. http://www.wix.com/flash/web-design/learning-center/planning-your-website/why-doctors-clinic-should-have-a-website.html.
- Why doctors need a Web site. Dr. Web Site. http://www.doctorwebstyle.com/web-design/why-doctors-need-a-web-site.aspx.