Friday, August 15, 2008

Why bother having a website?

This may sound like a fairly trivial question but for a medical website is quite fundamental. Do medical practitioners really need to have a website and for what purpose?

For an established GP there really may be no need: there is a steady stream of patients (perhaps too many?), people know where to find you (the result of a considerable marketing investment over time if you really think about it - whether paid or through word of mouth) and perhaps your patients wouldn't bother ever visiting your website if you had one.

For others a website forms part of a critical part of their business and means of communication to patients and prospective patients. Some things your medical website might do include:
  • provide contact details, opening hours and after hours contacts
  • provide details about the doctor(s) in the practice, specialty or interests
  • provide general information about conditions and treatment options
  • provide forms to print and complete before coming into the clinic
Being fairly web savvy and dealing with a group of younger practitioners the idea of a website for a newly established practice (albeit with some experienced practitioners) was an obvious and attractive one. This is not to say that older practitioners can't benefit from having one. They can and do - I'll provide some examples of this later.

Undeniably this represents an opportunity for doctors in general to increase the size of their practice and to provide better communication to patients. The question is - do you want or need to? You should have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve before embarking on this journey otherwise you are likely to lose interest when the bills start coming in and you get busy on other things.

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1 comment:

  1. I think that there are many benefits in having a website, especially if you view it as more than just a site.
    Given the increase of health 2.0 in the medical arena, tools and applications can make life for patients much better and increase the efficiency of GP's and their practices.
    Great post :)