The Right Way to Run Your Practice Website

Any medical practice without a website in the 21st century is like a rotary-phone clunker in the era of sleek smartphones. Without a website for your practice, you're leaving money on the table and serving fewer patients than you could be if you were doing it right. Here's how.

I’m going boldly on the record to say that any medical practice without a website in the 21st century is like a rotary-phone clunker in the era of sleek smartphones!

Now, some of you may argue that you’re doing perfectly fine, thank you, and a medical practice website is a complete waste of time. And I will argue right back that even if your practice is as full as it can be, I bet you’re leaving money on the table and if money is not your motivator, I bet you’re serving fewer people than you could be if you were doing it right.

Let me explain. First, let’s talk about what a medical practice website looks like when it’s done right.

• The website content is written in patient friendly language.

• It’s easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for.

• The website is constructed on a platform that makes it simple for the physicians and/or designated people within the practice to go in and add content on a regular basis. This should be done by people who are both willing and committed!

• The physicians’ bios are accompanied by recent welcoming photographs, and written in an inviting style, including comments of a less formal nature -- perhaps about personal interests outside of the practice, volunteer activities, their Peace Corps years, their passion for cooking, their recent cycle race, etc.

• The practices hours, location, parking, and policies (e.g. payment, handling of e-mail, preauthorization, billing etc.) are clearly described, again in patient-friendly language.

• There is a blog or articles section that is updated at least two times a week with news and tidbits about the practice, updates from the doctors, and timely articles that speak to the issues brought in on a regular basis by the patients. Each article is able to be “liked” on Facebook.

• The practice has an accompanying Facebook page, and every new article that is added to the website is also added to that page.

• The physicians have trained themselves to take note of what is currently on the minds of their patients, and which are the same old questions that patients keep asking. These items should form the basis of the regular communications and updates on the Facebook page and the practice’s blog. This not only keeps patients informed, but frees up much of the practice time from being swamped with repetitive questions that are easily answered in a “group communication.”

In other words, your medical practice website, with its accompanying social media presence, has the capacity to act as:

• your first line of defense against many of those hundreds of phone calls that clog up your telephone system each week;

• a communicator about what’s going on;

• an educator; and

• a time-saver for the doctor.

When do you plan to put your website to work?