Keeping in touch with patients online is just as important for doctor’s offices and medical professionals as it is for retailers and service businesses. Unfortunately, health care workers don’t always know how best to use the tools they have to reach out to their patients and the community.
Read on for 10 tips on better patient outreach — from your office computer.
Is Your Website Design Working For You?
Like other professional websites, medical website design should be clean and simple to navigate. You want your patients to be able to get to important information quickly. Your office telephone number, office hours and a link to a map to your location are key points to highlight.
Have You Considered Your Site’s SEO?
Integrated in your website’s design is your SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO basically means making sure your site has incorporated keywords — the specific words people use to search for information on the Internet. This will make the site more attractive to search engines when someone is looking for a specific office or medical services in your area in general. One of the best ways to make sure that your site is keyword rich is to make sure that you have plenty of useful content on the site.
Does Your Blog Offer Useful Information?
If you choose to have a blog on your website, it’s important to make sure of two things. First, your blog needs to be updated regularly. If your staff doesn’t have the time to update it often, you may consider moving the information to a static page instead. Second, make sure that your blog posts are relevant to your patients.
Do You Have a Newsletter?
A newsletter is another way to reach out to patients. You can incorporate some of your blog posts, and reminders for patients about timely health topics like flu season. Monthly or biweekly newsletters are best for patient interaction, but you may choose to issue them quarterly so as to be less intrusive. Newsletters can be physical, or you can use an emailing service to distribute them.
Have You Reached Out On Social Media?
Many doctors and other health care professionals are choosing to link social media accounts to their websites. Social media makes it easier for patients to reach you when and where they want — they won’t have to search the whole web for you, just one platform. Social media also gives you an outlet to post regular updates about health concerns and other news.
Do You Show Your Staff’s Personality?
One trick to make sure that your website and online brand stand out is to incorporate a little bit of your staff’s personality. Post pictures of staff get-together, portraits of your team and favorite quotes and sayings. Patients like to see the human side of the health care professionals they visit.
Can Your Patients Make Appointments Online?
An online booking system will add patient convenience to your website, allowing them to make, cancel and reschedule their own appointments. Email reminders from this system may help patients remember to attend their next scheduled appointment or reschedule if they miss one.
Have Younger Patients? Why Not Make An App?
An app is more of a monetary investment than some of the other options on this list, but designing a health-related app, such as a smart phone game, can be a way to make younger patients aware of important health-related matters.
Why Not Conduct a Patient Survey?
Online polls, surveys and other devices to solicit opinion can be a great way for medical offices to find out what extra services patients would like to see offered by your office. The anonymity of an online survey may be more attractive to your patients than a paper one they would fill out in your office, and it will be easier to tabulate the data from a digital survey.
Do You Have On-Air Talent? Make Short Videos To Create Your Own Advisories.
Finally, video is a powerful tool right now for creating a buzz online. Posting short, one- or two-minute videos about important health topics is a great way for you to get the word out to your patients — and the world at large — about your office and the standard of care they’ll receive in your hands.