Upgrade Your Website To Stay Relevant, Useful And In Demand
The billions of people who routinely look for healthcare information online grew wildly with the emergence of the pandemic.
To respond to this increased need for accurate, timely information and remain competitive, healthcare providers need to stay abreast of the latest web innovations.
It’s time to update and enhance your healthcare websites.
Think of your custom medical website as the anchor of your online presence. The quality, functionality and even the look of your site can affect your practice’s bottom line – positively or negatively.
Modern healthcare websites need the capacity to handle more web traffic and larger patient loads. Technology can address those needs with solutions such as internal web portals and content management systems.
This article will help you better understand the fundamentals of cutting-edge medical website development.
Several basic, essential technological elements of medical website development should be considered before proceeding to website design details.
HIPAA and HITECH Compliance
As a medical healthcare provider, you are entrusted with sensitive information that must remain confidential as required by HIPAA regulations. This information, known as protected health information or PHI, includes data about patients’ health concerns, symptoms, insurance, financial qualifications and personal information often included on patient forms, such as addresses and birthdates.
Medical care providers are required to use HIPAA- compliant medical web designs, conforming to procedures for managing, storing, and transmitting protected health information as specified by HIPAA.
HIPAA-compliant medical web designs must address rules that deal with privacy, security and breach notification.
To be HIPAA-compliant, healthcare organizations must fulfill all of the stated data handling standards. These include: appointing a HIPAA compliance officer, creating and publishing a policy, and ensuring data encryption.
HIPAA is supplemented with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which gives patient information an additional layer of security.
Patients must have online access to their Protected Health Information and be alerted to any data breaches. If a data breach affects the personal information of 500 or more patients, the medical provider must notify the authorities.
Policy on Data Protection
The policy should be made public. Users should be informed about what categories of data will be gathered and what technologies will be used to protect, process, encrypt, and store data.
SSL Certificate Use
To ensure the security of data flowing from healthcare practice websites to servers, HTTPS and SSL certificates should be used. This protocol guarantees secure server connections to its users through the use of encryption. SSL certificates with varying degrees of security are available. Prices range from $8 to $4,000 per year, depending on the level of security and the number of domains required.
Web responsiveness refers to how well a website functions on a variety of electronic devices. Websites should look and work well on computers, tablets and mobile phones.
A responsive website is key to patient retention. Studies have shown that 57% of patients would not recommend a practice to their peers that has a poorly designed website.
Quick Load Times
Patients place a premium on quick load times. So does Google! Websites that load quickly are more likely to rank higher in Google search results.
Patients expect websites to load, on average, in less than two seconds. Longer load times may discourage visitors and, ultimately, potential new patients could look elsewhere.
For medical web design and development, quick load speeds on any device should be high on the priority list. These medical websites are more likely to rank higher in Google search results and appear at the top, with a stronger online presence.
Straightforward Website Navigation
Your website should make it as easy as possible for patients to find the information they seek. Too many navigation buttons can be confusing. Visitors should be able to find basic information about your practice and your services in less than two clicks. Arrange menu items and information logically and simply to achieve a professional look and a user-friendly website.
According to Business2Community, 70% of small company healthcare websites lack a clear Call to Action (CTA) on their pages. This is a major missed opportunity.
When designing your medical website, give patients opportunities to take action in response to your marketing efforts.
Load your site with valuable content using a content management system. And make it interactive when possible. Include pricing information, patient testimonials, contact and location information, and an FAQ section.
Essentials of Medical Website Design
Healthcare websites must be developed with strong medical web development strategies.
We’ll discuss medical website design and examine how to develop a successful brand’s visual representation in the sections below.
What are the elements of a successful website design?
There are things you should consider using to improve your website and make your marketing efforts more effective.
Iconic website designs
Medical website design isn’t about creating playful or flashy web pages. Medical websites should convey integrity and dependability in a straightforward and user-friendly manner.
The home page is the first thing patients see. Here they should find information about the nearest location, medical providers, bill pay options, patient education resources and insurance information.
Design with the user in mind
The messages on a healthcare website should be written with the patient in mind. Write about how your practice will address patient concerns, rather than concentrating on services and medical procedures available.
The appropriate color scheme
Neutral hues are commonly used in medical website design because these colors make a positive impression. The most popular color palettes are shades of blue, white and red.
Real-life images and high-resolution graphics
Using distinctive, real-life photos, rather than stock photos, can make your website stand out. Include photos of doctors, the interior of your offices, and smiling patients so visitors can get a glimpse of what your practice looks and feels like. Graphics showing how procedures are done or will affect patients’ lives also add an interesting visual element.
Components of Web Design
Creating a custom medical website design from the ground up involves front-end and back-end software components and Application Programming Interfaces. A closer look at these components will yield a better understanding of the process.
All of the visual components that users interact with are included in the web front-end. It’s the technical execution of the user experience/user interface — or UX/UI — design produced during the early phases of website development.
Internal portals, for example, may require the use of a Content Management System (CMS), which enables the effective archiving of many types of material, such as surgical videos, photos, and papers.
Web back-end refers to the information-processing server-side of custom medical websites. All of the behind-the-scenes activities and website functionalities take place in back-ends.
Typically, the Software Architect and Business Analyst evaluate project requirements during the discovery stage and decide on the optimal stack of technologies to support your medical website design.
Medical Website Design Development Key Components
The creation of medical websites is focused on giving users a wide range of features while keeping the experience simple.
Patients go to a medical website for a variety of reasons.
A good website makes it easy and simple for patients to find the information they seek.
Medical website developers know that a good website search engine is something web visitors value. For example, patients may want to search for a clinic based on a number of criteria, such as location, services available and specific providers. A good search engine on the site will have advanced features allowing users to define their specific search using multiple filters.
These days, telemedicine services are commonplace and becoming increasingly popular. Doctors can conduct virtual visits with patients, saving time and expense for both provider and patient, by using online video-conferencing platforms. Telemedicine technology allows patients to consult with doctors and ask questions from wherever they are located. Photos and test results can be shared.
User-friendly navigation for all devices
Be sure to make your web design accessible and mobile-friendly. Patients should be able to view and use your website on any device they choose, from a computer to a tablet to a mobile phone. Ways to accomplish this include using easy-to-read fonts, an easy-to-complete contact form and information that is logically arranged.
Is it possible for patients to make an appointment when they find your healthcare practice and services online?
Your website is a valuable resource for ushering in new patients and for giving your existing patients a convenient way to book appointments. Online appointment booking can simplify scheduling for patients, doctors and office staff. Research shows that about 50% of patients today schedule their appointments over the phone. Be sure to have a responsive website and a responsive office team ready to assist patients, however they reach out to make appointments.
Online payment options
Patients appreciate the ease and convenience of being able to pay their medical bills online. Consider incorporating several payment method alternatives in your web design, such as credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Detailed team directory
Patients often peruse provider information in efforts to learn more about the medical teams in place at practices. Consider including photos, biographies, credentials and statements from providers so patients will feel confident about where they seek medical care.
Adding a medical staff directory to custom websites makes it easier for patients to find an appropriate care provider. Directories can provide information on doctors, such as their qualifications, medical practices, services, and work experience.
Inclusion of social media
Globally, there are 3.48 billion social media users, so it stands to reason that many of your patients and potential patients are among them. Be sure to include social media in your marketing plan.
It is possible to improve patient involvement by integrating social media with a medical web design. Users may share your blog articles, e-books, and other content on social media, potentially bringing in new consumers. If you want to leverage this user experience for medical web development, you’ll need to employ social media APIs and SDKs, such as Facebook SDK and Instagram API, to your websites.
3D tour to your medical office
Another way to market your practice is to give web visitors a bird’s-eye view of your premises. Virtual tours give visitors a sense of being inside your practice, observing and noting the practice’s strong points and allaying fears about any upcoming medical procedures or treatments.
Medical practices are actively improving their websites every day. Don’t let this opportunity to improve your reputation, increase engagement with your patients and bring new patients to your practice go untapped. Use the tools we’ve discussed to leverage digital marketing and improve your bottom line.
Medical websites serve as the public face of any healthcare organization. In some cases, these websites are patients’ primary source of information about medical conditions.
Here at Officite, we offer expert web development executed by a supportive team of professionals who know how to get your website noticed. We can use our marketing know-how to give your website that extra push so it can reach its full potential.
Contact us today!