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Imagine opening your new medical practice in the city of your dreams, but you struggle to get patients. You’ve tried everything, but nothing seems to work.
So you decide it’s time to invest in healthcare web development. That way, you can use the internet to market to potential patients.
Read on to learn some healthcare web development tips and other details.
Why You Need a Healthcare Website
If you want to grow your medical practice, you need to set up a healthcare website. Having a website can help you grow your practice and business so that you can reach your goals.
Your website can help you with a few things, but you need to develop your site correctly. As long as you make your site easy to use and navigate, you can enjoy a few benefits.
Consider a few excellent reasons to invest in healthcare web development.
One of the best ways to get new patients is to use digital marketing, and your website plays a big role in that. You can optimize your website for search engines so that you show up when people search for a doctor in your city.
If someone is looking for a new doctor, they may click on your website. Then, they can learn about your practice and specialty, and you can lead them to a page on your site to contact you and schedule an appointment.
You can also use social media to drive website traffic to your booking or contact page. Social media platforms come and go, but you own your website, so it can serve as the perfect digital home base for your marketing.
Connect With Current Patients
If you already have patients, you can also use your healthcare website to connect with them. More and more practices are setting up patient portals where people can view lab results and send you a secure message.
As you design your site, you can account for a patient portal in the plan and budget. Then, you’ll have an easy way to communicate back and forth with your patients.
This can be especially helpful if you don’t always have time to call people. Sending a message can be much faster, and your patients can respond when they have time.
Regardless of how you use your website, be sure you use a content management system (CMS). You can use a CMS to manage, organize, and publish new content on your website.
That can make it much easier to publish a new blog post, for example. You can also make other small changes without having to hire a website development professional for every little thing.
A CMS empowers you to make updates to your website, even if you’re not a developer. That way, if you ever need to change your hours or share another change, you can do so quickly.
Healthcare Web Development Best Practices
There are many website development best practices, but healthcare websites have even more. Before you design your website, make sure it complies with the law.
You should also ensure the website will be easy for you, your team, and your patients to use. That way, everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of a good healthcare website.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind.
You can use your website primarily for marketing your practice. However, you need to be careful when setting up a patient portal or even when sharing testimonials from your patients.
As a healthcare provider, you need to comply with HIPAA as well as the HITECH Act. HIPAA serves as the basis for keeping patient data safe, and HITECH adds more technology-specific rules.
Whether you design the site or hire someone, you need to protect any patient health information (PHI) that you include. Adding a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate is a start, but you may need to go further.
Designing an accessible site is more critical than ever, especially if you have any disabled patients. Even if you don’t currently have disabled patients, you never know when you may have some.
Your site should be easy to navigate and should work with screen readers and other assistive technologies. If you intend to add any videos on your website, make sure you include captions.
Making a website accessible doesn’t have to take long or be incredibly expensive. However, taking the time to do so can make a huge difference for your patients.
For the past few years, mobile devices have been the source of over 50% of all website traffic. Your current and prospective patients may visit your website on a smartphone.
If you want to attract and retain that traffic, your site needs to be mobile responsive. As you design the desktop version, make sure you create a separate mobile version.
That way, you can make some changes to make the site look better on a small screen. You may choose to make a collapsible navigation menu or to adjust the width of any columns on your site, for example.
The user experience and user interface of a website can make a huge difference. If your site is too hard or stressful to use, you may miss out on potential patients.
Similarly, your current patients may prefer to call you to learn about their lab results or to book appointments. On the other hand, if your website is easy to use, they might use the patient portal for those tasks.
That can save you and your team a lot of time, and it can help patients as well. Be sure you invest in good UX design so that people will want to visit your website.
How to Develop a Healthcare Website
Good healthcare website development is crucial for implementing best practices. You can design a very basic website yourself, but it may not have the features you want.
For example, creating a simple website for marketing purposes isn’t too difficult. However, you probably won’t be able to set up a patient portal or add other advanced features.
Consider a few steps to take to make sure your healthcare website looks good and is enjoyable to use.
One of the best things you can do when it comes to website development is to hire a professional. A web developer will have the skills and experience necessary to create the best possible website for you.
As mentioned, you can design the basics, and that can be a nice start if you want to get a website up fast. However, you’ll eventually want to hire someone, especially if you want to add a patient portal.
Some advanced features require a bit of coding knowledge or other development skills. It’s better to hire a professional now than to hire one later to fix mistakes you made.
If you want to hire a web developer, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend. Review your business budget and revenue to see if you can increase your budget.
A good website can cost tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you want to add a lot of functionality. The price can also vary based on the experience of the developer or development firm you hire.
Another factor that comes into play is how fast you want to complete the project. Many developers charge a rush fee if you want them to work on your site sooner.
Along with setting a budget, you should figure out what you need or want to include on the site. Maybe you want to start with something simple, such as a few pages and a contact form.
Or you might want a more complex site that has a built-in patient portal. Either way, you should figure out your priorities, especially if you don’t have the largest budget.
You may need to make some compromises to hire a good developer. Consider what you can live without for now, and you can always ask your developer to add those features later when you have the money.
Once you hire a website development firm, you should work with them regularly. First, have a meeting where you discuss your goals and basic ideas for the site.
As they complete different pages or other features, ask for an update. Then, you can make sure you like how the website looks, or you can request any changes you want.
Of course, you’ll also want to view the final version of the website before you publish it. If you want to update anything at that point, you can do so or ask your developer before you launch the site to the public.
Healthcare Web Development Made Easy
Good healthcare web development can make or break your website. Whether you want something simple or a more complex site, you should hire a professional.
They can help you comply with the law and implement other best practices. That way, your site will be enjoyable for current and prospective clients to use.
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