Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, highlighted the importance of having a solid reputation and being held in high esteem. His words remain as imperative as they were almost 2000 years ago, and resonate enormously with regards to the medical profession, particularly during this era of the internet and the world wide web. Having a professional website for a doctor not only safeguards and enhances your reputation, but also plays a key role in guiding potential clients to your practice.
Statistics say!: Recent studies show that almost 50 percent of patients are reviewing their doctor online before making the decision to commit to their care. With the colossal amount of information available online, having an online presence as a physician is just inadequate. A controlled presence is, however, crucial and a personal website for a doctor is perfect for this role.
Statistics indicate that about 90 percent of physicians use social media sites, but only 60 percent use it in a professional capacity, and an abysmal 15 percent have their websites. As illustrated, the majority of the doctors lack a personal website and consequently miss the myriad of patients who flock online in search of answers and more personalized care. The bridging of this gap is vital, and it not only addresses the patients’ needs but also provides an avenue for the doctor’s practice to thrive, particularly regarding increased revenue and income.
As a physician, a personalized website avails you the opportunity to connect with your patients, allowing them to be able to relate to you at a more human level. Historically, the doctor-patient relationship has always been skewed in favor of the doctor, but this levels the playground, permitting a more genuine and sincere interaction that ultimately improves the patient care.
How does it help? A website shines the limelight on the doctor allowing him to showcase his academic qualifications, skills, and achievements throughout his career. A personal website for a doctor not only inspires the patient confidence but also sets the record straight in cases where there is misinformation about him or his practice. Furthermore, the increased visibility and accessibility provides the patients with concise information with regards to the location of the practice – a Google map listing enables your patients to get easy directions to where your practice is based. With hectic schedules and multiple tasks that require being attended to, doctors need proper planning to facilitate their day to day lives.
A personal website for doctor enables patients to book their appointments online, aiding in the planning process. Activation of the online chat feature on the website provides patients with the opportunity to make queries and receive feedback accordingly.
The meteoric rise in internet and social media use can be directly attributed to increased access to smartphones. Developing a personalized website without a mobile-optimized version would thus be a foolhardy venture, bound with the chains of futility. It is no secret that our smartphones drive our internet use. Accordingly, the pressing demands of this aspect of internet use require a proactive response. Like a pestle and mortar, a desktop site and a mobile site go hand in hand.
What best you can do: Like every other collection of facts and data, the internet is full of half-truths and misinformation particularly regarding health issues as this is an area that strikes a tender chord in most people’s emotional beings. It is, therefore, paramount that a website owned by a doctor can sift through, separating the wheat from the chaff. Such a website would ideally have precise medical facts presented in a patient-friendly manner devoid of the technical jargon associated with medical texts; instructional audio-visual tools such a podcasts or videos that enhance the patient experience and demystify complex medical scenarios for better comprehension. A section for the patient support that provides patients with an opportunity to share their experience with regards to treatment and living with illnesses – essentially a boulevard of encouragement and sustenance.
At this point in time, Google is the most favored search engine, and an astounding one-fifth of all Google searches are related to medical and health matters. In light of these new findings, Google has enhanced the presentation of medical and health-related information with medical websites being given prominence. Doctors who set up medical websites must, therefore, keep abreast with the changing trends and take advantage of new marketing avenues such as internet marketing, SEO medical article texts which confer benefits hitherto unavailable through more traditional and conventional marketing strategies. Internet marketing is essential and includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media tools and keeping the website up-to-date with original content that keeps it at the top of search results when a potential patient searches for a medical or health-related issue.
Whenever we fall ill, our first instinct is to gather as much information about our symptoms and try to establish what is amiss in our bodies. Having a website that covers the various illnesses hook, line, and sinker with the content being moderated by a doctor or expert in the respective field covers this niche adequately.
Dutifully, a doctor who sets up a personalized website should ensure that no stone is left unturned with regards to accurate information about diseases. In the same note, it is imperative that a face or title be matched with the medical content provided on the site. Well-written, current and up-to-date content with a respected doctor as an author or an editor reassures the readers and boosts their confidence unlike multiple articles with haphazard medical information that have been anonymously written. Better the doctor who prevents a malady than one who labors insidiously to cure one.
Other Benefits: Having a personal website gives doctors an opportunity to open constant communication channels with their patients, allowing the patients to subscribe to newsletters which provide them with information about prevention of illnesses. With the onslaught of lifestyle illnesses and the resultant morbidity and mortality that has accompanied them; their prevention and management are a top priority. Newsletters packaged with the essential information thus play a key role in advising and informing patients in this regard, and additionally, empower the patients to seek care from specialists in case their symptoms or complaints require it.
Medical professionals are typically swarmed with a load of patient care and have very little time to manage their websites. Outsourcing this kind of work to a good medical writing company is not only a necessity but also a practical and cost-friendly option. We all cannot be jacks of every trade, and thus website content management should be contracted to professionals who have the expertise and experience to effectively manage the up to date medical content.