The process of creating a website does not have to be an expensive venture, even if an agency or vendor is hired to build one. There are many “do-it-yourself” website builders available to help make the process simple while making sure the content is robust.
Four essential elements for creating a successful pediatric practice website include:
- Understanding the Patients – Know the demographics and health needs of the community. This will help inform the selection of educational materials for the Web site that are most relevant to the patient population.
- Consistency – The content being marketed should be delivered in a consistent format and tone, as well as support the overall mission and vision of the practice.
- Providing Accurate Knowledge – By delivering helpful and accurate content, the practice becomes an authority, and the ‘go-to’ source for information related to healthcare. Ensure that the Web site links to reputable sources of health information.
- Providing Quality Content – Maintain a high standard for all content that is listed on the practice’s website. Frequently asked questions from patients and families can make for an excellent resource, and demonstrates that patient/family concerns are being heard.
The following items should be incorporated into the website.
- Practice News and Updates – Include practice information such as regular and holiday office hours of operations, address (with link for directions – if feasible), phone and fax numbers. It is also important to include the practice’s history including the mission and vision, as well as information about the providers
- Practice Services – Pertinent patient information such as accepted insurances, co-payment expectations, acceptable forms of payment, as well as in-house lab services should be outlined and listed.
- Patient Forms – Create tabs for patients, such as registration forms and “welcome to the practice” packet for new patients. Depending on the type of system, forms should be downloadable or programmed to allow patients/families to complete them online.
- Patient Resources – Provide quality educational information and resources on clinical topics that are most relevant to the patient population. Link to credible sources of information such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This can also include, trustworthy blog posts, articles, white papers and eBooks.
Many practices also include a section for career opportunities on the website to share information about open positions and how to apply.
Content on the website should not only provide information about the practice’s operations, but also include educational information tailored to the health needs of the community. Additionally, website content should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.