Health Care Internet Trends and Social Media

by Bradley Jobling on November 10, 2009

I was amazed to find out at a meeting today with the Web consulting firm Greystone that some of the newest trends in health care websites is the ability to price your hospital stay, do a side by side comparison of doctors at the same institution, as well as being able to view outcomes.

Best of breed websites that were highlighted include:

Aspects that made some of these sites the best include:

  • Keywords on the homepage for SEO.
  • Find a doctor searches highlighted on the homepage that helped drive referrals.
  • Clear access to physician profiles which include links to papers, presentations, outside sites in a tabbed format, readable on one page with minimal scrolling. Links within profiles went to general information parts of the site which described diseases, conditions and treatments.
  • Doctors email addresses were available on Web pages for quick access.
  • Secure, online referral forms with option such as chat, and “contact me” buttons.

Information provide about strategies for health care sites include:

  • Local health information is key. It’s difficult to compete with the NIH or WebMD, but more specific articles written to the patient audience, with quick access to referrals, is an achievable goal for most hospital Web organizations.
  • Some doctor profiles include video interviews with the doctors. This friendliness leads to increased referrals.
  • SEM is good for specific detailed goals which need to be accomplished quickly. Otherwise organic search results are better for long term results and a higher ROI.
  • Off site flyers and banner ads on local news sites can help improve traffic to the site. People do not normally go the Internet thinking they want to go to a health care web site. Search is the starting points for most health information queries.
  • Mobile websites are going to become increasingly important as more and more people access the Internet via their phones.
  • “My” websites where users can log on to have access to medical records is becoming the norm as this is being advanced by the US government.

In addition to this social media for health care as an important marketing tool as described by Lee Asee of the Mayo Clinic and as detailed in his presentation below.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kathy Divis November 11, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Bradley,

Hope you found the presentations useful and educational.

If you have follow up questions, just let us know. I thought the group had a lot of good questions during the session — it just felt like we needed more time to really dig into the topics! Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks. Kathy

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