Updated from the original article posted November 22, 2019
Some healthcare providers set up their medical practice websites once and assume their work is done, but websites actually require ongoing attention to be most effective. The thought and care you put into what patients want from a website can attract new patients and help you retain current ones.
As with your clinic operations, a website should evolve alongside changes to healthcare consumer attitudes, patient needs, and government regulations. Your medical website design needs to respond to these shifting tides with periodic updates – and yes, sometimes an overhaul – to continually attract new patients and serve your existing patients.
When existing, prospective, or return patients visit your website, they do so with intention. You will want to meet them with everything they need to walk with your practice on the patient journey. Today we’ll share what patients want to find on a medical practice’s website.
Patients Want a Medical Website They Can Use with Ease
Today’s internet user is conditioned to expect fast-loading websites that are intuitively designed. If a website takes more than a few seconds to load or is too confusing to navigate, a visitor will abandon the page and may never come back.
Doctor.com reports (in a recent patient experience in healthcare survey) that 36.7% of patients seeking care are deterred by an outdated and hard-to-navigate website. Modern website design is user-first and intuitive, as it places key features where they are easily found. The modern medical website design must also be responsive by adapting seamlessly to smartphone or tablet devices – users expect ease of use on both mobile and desktop versions of a website.
Have a Website for All Patients with ADA-Accessibility
One in four Americans lives with a disability. It is also worth noting that our elderly patient population will develop new challenges as they age, such as confusion or hearing and vision impairment.
Because everyone deserves equal access to the website amenities, we now have tools to accommodate those with a disability or impairment. Design for medical websites should be inclusive of those with usability challenges.
Our ADA-accessibility tool is compatible with screen readers and allows users to make various adjustments according to their special needs. For example, clicking on the wheelchair icon in the bottom corner of our website gives visitors access to a complete menu of usability tools.
Patients Want to Know They Are in the Right Hands
Patients quickly form an opinion about your practice within the first few seconds of scrolling through your page. When a website attracts new patients emulates care and compassion through visuals and text, it makes a favorable impression on on-site visitors.
What patients also want from a website is information to confirm the legitimacy of your medical practice. This is why you need a well-written “About Us” section with all your credentials and prestigious affiliations along with bios of your clinicians and staff.
Include detailed testimonials and reviews on your website also builds trust with your website’s audience. Endorsements from existing patients give prospective patients an idea of what to expect when they come in for an appointment.
Also keep in mind that before a site visitor can even think about making an initial appointment, they must know where you are and if you take their insurance. So, be sure to provide a complete list of insurances you accept, payment policies, and detailed location information.
Note: 56.4% of respondents in the same Doctor.com survey say that relevant and accurate website info is a must when choosing a new provider. Also, websites lacking the necessary information is a chief complaint among the Millennial and Gen Z demographics.
Security in Safety
Is your website secure? When you view your website by desktop, the URL should begin with HTTPS rather than just HTTP. Without this layer of protection, your website is more vulnerable to malware and hackers.
Privacy is also a major concern with the transfer of medically sensitive information through the internet. You must ensure that any and all transmission of patient information is shielded from threats and that every step of the process meets HIPAA standards.
Patients Have Questions, and You Have the Answers
There must be some questions your Patient Service Reps have answered hundreds of times, and when you provide these answers on your website, you can save patients and staff time on the phone. With each question answered, a prospect moves closer toward making their first appointment.
How to improve patient experience is to better inform your website visitors. One way to accomplish this is to compile a list of those questions prospective patients are most likely to have. Offer short yet complete and clear answers. This includes all the services you offer, the common ailments you treat and what treatment options are available, what process steps to expect, estimated recovery time, and more.
Patients Want Next Steps
A compelling medical website will have prospects on the brink of making their very first appointment. Providing actions for them to take on the spot is how you transform a site visitor into a new patient in minutes. For example, having your phone number easy to spot and with click-to-call functionality enabled makes it easy to call you. A built-in contact form right on your home page is a direct invitation to initiate the new patient process now.
Patients Want Convenience
More than ever, patients have the convenience of completing healthcare-related tasks online. Once more, the Doctor.com survey sheds some light on what patients want from a website. When it comes to winning patient loyalty, 34.8% of survey respondents want to book their appointments online and 38.9% want convenient payment options.
Our design for healthcare experts recommends that you centralize convenient options prominently at the top of the page using bold colored buttons. This positioning provides easy access to these features and reminds patients of the options they have.
Medical Practice Website must-haves for a better patient experience:
- Patient portal – Here is a question you have probably heard many times: “How do I get to the portal?” Having a button on your site is a reference point for patients to have easy access to the patient portal.
- Online scheduling – The option to schedule an appointment online means one less patient on waiting on hold and frees up time for your staff.
- Online bill pay – These days, we pay just about every bill online. Now patients can take care of their balance after hours or whenever it is convenient for them.
- Telemedicine – When your virtual visit program has a centralized log-in, patients can get there quickly and be on time for their appointments. This also lets prospective patients know that you offer virtual visits.
What your medical website has to offer is instrumental in the patient care experience journey.
Give Patients What They Want with a Medical Practice Website that Delivers!
The truth is that most websites and website templates are built for generic businesses and are not tailored to the patient experience or for medical practice operations. Unlike other agencies, iHealthSpot is wholly dedicated to healthcare providers. Because we specialize in medical website design, our team works to create a website with all the information and features your patients need on demand.