What do you think makes a good hospital website? Recent research in the US indicates that hospital websites need to embrace the digital delivery of information more strategically. Relevant information should be readily accessible in two or three clicks for both patients and healthcare professionals.
10 tips to achieve a successful hospital website
1. Make searches simple – a catch all search button should be predictive and pick up mis-spellings of treatments and consultants. Patients want to find information quickly and easily, so consider having separate boxes to search for a consultant or speciality on respective landing pages.
2. Mobile access – a survey of 57 US hospitals found 49% did not have a mobile responsive website and/or the most important call to action buttons were not found easily, e.g. contact us, find a consultant.
3. Treatment content – patients want to access meaningful knowledge about their condition and possible treatments. The more content with added value such as linked specialist consultants, pricing and rapid access to make an urgent appointment the better.
4. Imagery – identify the key people/stakeholders who can support the hospital by showcasing ‘real staff’ on the website; the imagery can be used in banners, in brochures and in bios, patients can review staff credentials and expertise and feel reassured that they can have an appointment with a specialist they know something about.
5. Patient friendly – reflect the patient pathway on the website from before they request an appointment to the aftercare support they will require after treatment; patients want to have supporting information to anticipate the whole journey through to rehabilitation, this can be visualised from graphics or a bespoke patient app.
6. Fillable forms – anticipate simple forms that can be swiftly completed online in advance and are encrypted to protect patient confidentiality. Consider documents such as medical forms, book or change an appointment to enhance the patient experience or GP forms that allow them to refer patients to rapid care.
7. Google search – consider local long tail search phrases that don’t have to compete with the most popular phrases. For example aim to get high local rankings ‘cardiac care in Kent’ rather than being low for search for ‘cardiac care’.
8. Hospital personality – invest in making the patient and healthcare professional experience meaningful, give staff visual personalities, humanise them through video tips and advice before and after a procedure.
9. Brand-centric or patient centric – a hospital website that is brand-centric tends to be promotional with thin information that is not meaningful, a patient centric website communicates the expertise of staff who care and compassionate about the patient with detailed information on treatements.
10. Downloadable brochures – consider interactive consultant directories and patient brochures that are in a ‘useful resources’ section for patients, GPs and the media.
These useful tips should get you thinking about the creative development of your website and across your offline marketing channels. Share your marketing campaign thoughts below or on Twitter.