Helping potential patients to find the right doctor is one of your healthcare system website’s most important jobs.
Ensuring that your patients have an exceptional experience means starting at the beginning: uncovering hidden bottlenecks and sticking points in the digital patient journey. During one particularly memorable website user testing session with a hospital client, a test subject was asked to recall a time they had tried to find care. He said he had a ‘heart situation’ and typed “heart situation” into the search field. No results were returned and the client realized they were probably failing lots of other website visitors.
Make it easy
Whether your user is new to the area, new to needing healthcare, or have a health “situation” that requires specialty care, your website should make their experience effortless and pleasant. Moving a potential patient from confusion and crisis into an educated decision that they feel confident in should be a priority for every healthcare provider.
Most of the visitors to your website aren’t swimming in healthcare jargon every day. They don’t always know what specialty to search for or why one credential or accolade might be preferred over another. All they know is that they need care — care that meets their health needs, isn’t too far, and is with someone who can see them soon.
If they’re looking for a new primary care physician, they might want to know more about that doctor’s personality and style. If they have just received a serious diagnosis, they will want to be reassured that your specialists provide the best possible care.
The best answer to a lot of these issues is to have tightly optimized physician profiles with easy to understand language. Having high ranking physician profiles on your own website means that people can find them directly from a Google search (where most of your potential patients will begin their journey).
Once a potential patient has found the pool of doctors they’re looking for, the next highest items on the list are distance and availability. Does your website allow users to easily compare providers in that way?
Open your books
Pulling available appointment times out of your electronic medical record and exposing them to your site visitors is a fantastic way to improve their experience. Adding those appointments as easily-accessible elements allows you to prioritize and filter providers in ways that really matter to someone hoping to get seen quickly.
A lot of electronic medical records, like Epic, allow you to embed their appointment scheduling tools on your consumer website. This is a great first step but those tools often fall short on user experience and don’t allow you to hitch the conversion data up with other sources. Consider exploring the use of a platform that integrates deeply with your EMR and allows you to pull appointments out in a more meaningful way.
Having those appointments available also allows you to deploy them in interesting and useful ways across the rest of your website. Our experience building and optimizing healthcare provider websites shows us how much more effective a service line landing page call-to-action is with “next available appointment times” displayed.
The next critical piece of the patient journey is the ability to book an appointment quickly and easily through the website without having to create a new account in your patient portal. Not only does this empower your patients to manage their own care, it also allows you to connect a very real conversion to your marketing or promotion efforts.
Only a handful of providers offer a truly excellent and integrated patient onboarding experience. Let us show you how Sparkle can help you to make the most of your marketing spend and your Epic investment.
Schedule a demo today.