Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Medical Websites Help Small Practices Compete Against Large Hospitals

Practicing medicine in the private sector is a very tough proposition. It’s not enough simply to be a very good doctor; Its also imperative that one is known by most to be a very good doctor. It’s not enough to provide all the latest treatment options and services; Everyone must also know or be able to find out easily all the services provided at a practice/hospital.

Traditional Healthcare Communication Meant Word-Of-Mouth Publicity

Traditionally, physicians and medical practices have relied on word-of-mouth publicity to establish themselves. A patient who has undergone an event-free angiography at the local cardiac care center would then tell five others about his/her wonderful experience.And now five more people know about the latest angiography services at that cardiac center. Hopefully, this positive review would continue in a geometric progression and more and more people would visit the medical center. 

But is that enough? Also, what about the high tech cardiac catheterization and latest stenting services also available at that center? There would be hundreds of bits of positive details about your practice most patients would’nt even get to know of. Hoping that all visitors to a medical center realize all its plus points and then remember to pass these plus points to others is so optimistic, it’s foolish. Thus word-of-mouth publicity serves a very limited role in evangelizing any healthcare services.

Challenges In Healthcare Communication

Medical practices can no longer rely only on word-of-mouth to inform the world about their existence. But they also face a big handicap. They need to make themselves and their quality services known without resorting to overt advertising. Clinics and smaller hospitals face a specially forbidding challenge in breaking through this glass ceiling of ‘perceived quality’. Sheer size has allowed larger hospitals to carry an aura of quality, irrespective of the services they provide. In contrast, many clinics which provide top-of-the-line services are just not accorded due respect or simply remain unknown.

Medical Websites In Healthcare Communication

Despite providing the best services, many small practices are labeled ‘poor quality’ simply because of low visibility. Technology has broken down this artificial divide between small and larger medical practices. A high quality website has become the single most important way to establish your credibility, authority and niche online. Websites and social media channels provide an easy to access free platform for showcasing your expertise to any targeted/ segmented population.

A website becomes the way people remember and recall your clinic. A website creates a visual brand for your medical practice, allowing strong recall value even among people who may never have visited your clinic. With the help of a high quality medical website, a niche specialty clinic can achieve the same recognition as many large super-specialty hospitals.

Beyond branding, the practical utilities medical practices can provide the patients via their websites are plenty. Appointment scheduling and lab reports can easily be accessed via medical websites. Interactive patient communication widgets and electronic health records can add an entirely new dimension to the concept of medical websites.


Post a Comment