The patient experience doesn’t just start when someone steps into a hospital lobby or a doctor’s exam room…
It starts at the first moment of uncertainty.
When they’re worried about a symptom and turn to Google for answers.
When they go online to research treatment options for a parent diagnosed with cancer.
When their child is running a high fever and they need to find the nearest urgent care center.
In that moment of uncertainty, the patient is looking for a healthcare provider who understands what they’re going through; a provider who can answer their questions, and guide them to the care they need...
Fail to deliver, and you’ll leave patients with a poor experience and a poor impression of your healthcare organization.
Here are the most common reasons healthcare providers deliver a poor online experience:
Reason 1 - They’re not present in the moment of need (when the patient is looking for answers online).
The healthcare provider is not appearing at the top of the search results in Google and Bing, and they’re not showing up on other popular digital channels like Facebook, Yelp, etc.
If the provider isn’t even around to begin with, how can they help the patient?
Reason 2 - They deliver the wrong message.
In that moment when a prospective patient is conducting a health-related search online, they don’t want to waste time—they want relevant search results and quick access to a solution.
When healthcare organizations serve irrelevant ads, landing pages, etc., they’re just adding another layer of uncertainty to a stressful situation.
Reason 3 - They fail to build assurance in their healthcare staff and services.
It’s not easy for people to put their health (and the health of their loved ones) in someone else’s hands—that’s why they need your assurance.
Healthcare providers can help people feel more confident in their decisions by clearly demonstrating how their organization delivers the highest level of care—whether that’s through the caliber of their medical staff, special awards, unique services offered, community partnerships, etc.
Reason 4 - They make it difficult for prospective patients to access the information they need.
Slow-loading pages, websites that aren’t mobile-friendly, confusing content, information that’s difficult to find—these are obstacles that will destroy your prospective patient’s online experience.
When you create these types of obstacles for your online visitors, you drive away potential new patients.
If you want to give patients a better experience right from the get-go, you must...
Refine your healthcare organization’s digital marketing plan
Start with your website. Make sure it’s fast, professionally designed, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines.
Then branch into other aspects of your online presence, including your visibility in search engines (through both organic rankings and paid search ads), your presence on social media, your online content, etc.
Consider what the prospective patient’s mindset is when they encounter your organization online, anticipate their needs, and make it as easy as possible to get to the healthcare solutions they’re looking for.
Provide information that is actually useful to patients, and remove any barriers that might leave them confused or frustrated, or that require them to do extra work.