It’s all too tempting when developing a new hospital website to focus on how it looks and on getting your corporate message out. After all, the “look and feel,” is what is most visible to many of your stakeholders.
But what do your patients actually want from your hospital’s website? What do they need access to?
By focusing on why someone would use your site and what they’d hope to get from it, we can develop better websites for hospitals that cater for their target audiences.
Here are some reasons your patients or prospective patients would use your website:
To Establish Your Reputation
Choosing somewhere to receive medical treatment is a big deal. Your website is your opportunity to tell them why you’re qualified and you’re the right choice for them.
- Patient testimonials
- Medical professional bios of your experienced team members
- Links to external review websites or accrediting bodies for third party credibility building
To Contact or Find You!
Patients on their way to appointments will often rely on postcodes and maps. Or perhaps they’re looking for walking directions from the nearest Tube station.
Whatever way your patients are getting to you, it’s important that there’s a clear page on your website that renders incredibly well on mobile devices and makes it clear how patients should find you.
For added convenience, you could consider adding a button to enable users to load directions in Google or Apple Maps instantly.
Click to call telephone numbers (using friendly 03 numbers or local numbers for mobile users) are a useful feature.
To Manage Appointments and Treatment Plans
While it isn’t essential to offer patients online management of their appointments via your website, it is something that many would benefit from. The ability to login via your website and see their appointments, amend their appointments and even access information about their treatment plans or medication is incredibly valuable.
Of course this is helpful for patients. But let’s not forget the added potential use for your organisation is cutting down administration tasks and potentially reducing missed appointments.
To Get Healthcare Information
The NHS website is an amazing resource for advice on a range of conditions and millions of people access is each month looking for advice and help.
If your hospital specialises in treating certain conditions or types of patients, then don’t be afraid to supply expert information on your site just because there are other healthcare resources out there.
This information can be written in collaboration with the medical professionals dealing with patients day in and day out and it could be incredibly reassuring for patients to have access to information written by the very people who will be treating them.
To Manage Payments
We like to pay for almost everything online now. Consumers buy products, pay utility bills, TV license, repay loans, make mortgage payments and even pay tax bills online.
So it stands to reason that paying for medical treatment is something many patients would prefer to do digitally.
By enabling payments via your website, you allow patients to pay in a way they’re accustomed to paying for everything else.
Answers to Questions
If a patient has a question about your hospital or anything related to it, your website could be an excellent resource for answering it.
Yes, they could call you. But by the same token, you could have a well populated and expanding FAQs section on your site. You could take this a step further and consider a live chat function so that people can ask any question there and then without having to pick up the phone if they would prefer not to.
Find out what your patients want
If you’re considering a new website for your hospital, an important starting point is finding out what people want from your site. Consider surveying existing patients or analysing how people use your current website as a starting point.
We specialise in developing and designing websites for all kinds of hospitals and we could help you to turn your website into a genuinely useful tool for your patients and prospective patients. Get in touch with us today to discuss your goals.