(the blog)

February 13, 2017 |

Are Patients Losing Patience with your Hospital’s Website?


I’m reading The New Rules of PR & Marketing by David Meerman Scott and in one particular section, Scott (referring to a real estate company as an example) explains the difficulties in transitioning from traditional advertising to modern-day digital.

After recently attending three of the nation’s biggest Healthcare Marketing conferences, I couldn’t help but to think about hospitals on this matter. Largely, hospitals (many by their own admission) seem to be behind the times when it comes to their website and digital presence.

Let’s be real – a hospital’s website is the first place where most patients or potential patients go to conduct research.

In fact, emagine found that:

  • 35% of U.S. adults Say at one time or another they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.
  • 48% of patients’ research online more than two weeks before scheduling an appointment.
  • 51% of patients would feel more valued as a patient via digital communications. (website, blog, social media, email marketing)
  • 61% of patients visit two or more hospital websites before converting.

I’m a Business Development Representative at a Digital Marketing agency for healthcare – but my perspective is coming from patient prospective (which we all are).

Below are some major factors that should be noted on a hospital’s website. In the age of digital they might seem obvious – but I look at Healthcare websites all day every day and far too few have even accomplished these basic objectives:

  • Mobile friendly: I don’t think that I need to provide statistics on how many patients are researching hospitals on mobile devices. If you’re in a public place right now, look around and see how many people are looking on their mobile devices. But for formality reasons, here are some statistics from emagine’s White Paper: Roughly one in three patients have used mobile devices daily for healthcare research and/or to schedule appointments “. If your hospital does not have a mobile strategy by now, you might as well be Fred Flintstone and living in the Stone Age era.
  • Patients must find what they’re looking for. emagine found that people don’t just typically search the internet for a specific healthcare facility. The White Paper states the percentage of people that search for hospitals and doctors as follows: “38% Symptons or departments (e.g. runny nose, pediatrics) 37% Conditions (allergies, cancer) 19% Hospital brand 6% Treatment.” This all comes down to the word marketers love the most… content. And not just content, but high-quality content.
  • Patient Experience: Your Hospital’s website should adequately support each user persona coming to your website and serve as a helpful tool to quickly get them the information they came to your website for. This might mean a patient who is looking to make an appointment or caregivers who are researching doctors who can treat their loved one. Mapping the site architecture and content delivered throughout a website visit and aligning those with the phases of the patient journey will ensure your website is relevant and helpful to each user persona at each stage of the patient journey.

The online experience of your website should also reflect the offline experience people will have when visiting your Hospital. Imagery that exudes empathy and comfort and an intuitive user experience will translate into a Hospital visit that is seamless with clinical staff who are empathetic and comforting.

Remember – websites influence 80% of care choices and with patients being more empowered than ever before you want their experience with your website to be a positive one.

Take a look at emagine’s White Paper, “The Digital Journey to Healthcare Success: A Guide to Updating and Improving Your Hospital’s Online Presence” to find out more on how digital has changed everything for hospitals and why it should matter to you. There are also some great tips on how to get high-quality content onto your website and social media.

February 13, 2017 |


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