Dr. Peng’s practice has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. On Facebook, it posts educational healthcare content from trusted resources, such as the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation. It also posts articles written by its physicians, and has started a blog about various rheumatologic conditions. “We try to keep our patients up to date regarding the logistics of the practice, wellness classes, as well as surrounding healthcare events, such as the Lupus Walk or the Walk to Cure Arthritis,” Dr. Peng says.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueAugust 2015
Also By This Author
Dr. Wei has posted almost 2,000 videos on YouTube, which he promotes on Twitter. On Facebook, he posts daily tips for people with arthritis. “I write tips, glean them from magazines or pharmaceutical companies and get them from patients.” Visitors to the practice’s website can sign up to be e-mailed a daily tip.
Dr. Borenstein uses Facebook and Twitter to promote his weekly radio program that includes a podcast with one-minute vignettes.
Beyond a Website
Taking things a step further, a website needs to be part of a larger Web marketing campaign. Web analytics—the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Web data—and search engine optimization work hand in hand. “You won’t know if your website is providing the right traffic or converting visitors without analytics,” Ms. Gainer says. “Use search engine optimization to tweak your website based on those findings.”
“I never thought when I went to medical school that I would be judged by my presence on the Internet,” Dr. Borenstein quips. “It has been an eye-opening experience. But this is our current day and age. You can either fight it or embrace it. Whether doctors like it or not, patients will go to the Web. If you want to reach people and educate them, the Web is the way to potentially reach the world.”
Karen Appold is a medical writer in Pennsylvania.
10 Website Design Tips
- Choose color palettes carefully (think about the emotions colors convey), and avoid using more than five colors on your site.
- Select easy-to-read fonts in a large enough size to scan quickly.
- Label menu tabs clearly; anticipate how patients will look for information.
- Introduce your physicians and staff; include bios, photos, videos.
- Use photos of your physicians positively interacting with patients.
- Post downloadable documents that new patients will need to complete prior to their first visit.
- Make your site interactive; include surveys and a way for patients to ask questions and make appointments.
- Make it educational; include disease fact sheets and relevant research, links to support groups and other information patients might find valuable.
- Tell your practice’s story—what makes it unique.
- Tell your patients’ stories (with permission and signed waivers), and let them recommend you.