A website is just like the exterior of a building, and in the healthcare industry patients will base their opinion off how it looks and how it makes them feel. Overall, most of the people view a website’s design as the number one factor when deciding whether a business is credible, and users make their mind up in a split second as they land on your page.
While some healthcare companies are following the digital trends, a large portion of them are still struggling, as identified by research showing that 11% of visitors to a hospital or health system say their poor website experience created new, negative feelings about that brand.
Your website’s design should start from what patients want. According to healthcare surveys 90% of patients want easier, seamless access to their personal health records. Furthermore, they expect more convenient functionality, e.g. patients are interested in receiving virtual health services.
Patients also want to be able to book medical services online — as 2 in 3 millennials prefer online scheduling and receiving reminders. Online booking is a mandatory feature right now and all healthcare systems should enable self-scheduling over time.
Looking at the developing trends and changing preferences of patients, you can see what the best healthcare websites have in common:
- Online scheduling
- Online prescription renewal
- Doctor or specialist search
- Patient portals to easily access their health data
- Messaging capabilities so patients can communicate quickly with providers
- Emergency wait room times
- Options for virtual visits with health practitioners
Aside from these functionalities, your website still needs to be built following best practices.
Fast — Patients need to see your website within three seconds of landing there. If it takes longer, almost half of them will leave.
Secure — Every website should be secure, but even more so in the healthcare industry, where professionals deal with sensitive information and the industry is based on credibility and reputation.
Mobile-friendly — Mobile traffic has overtaken search on all fronts, including in the healthcare category. Most users will look up health information from their mobile device. According to Google, 77% of smartphone owners have used their smartphones to find local health services in the past six months, and 80% of them say they’re more likely to revisit and/or share a mobile site if it is easy to use.
Coded for SEO — In order to stay relevant in search engine results, the best healthcare websites are built to make it easy for search engines to find, scan, and index them.