4 Ways Your Website Can Become an Intuitive Tool for Your Practice
By Sean Mitchell
While very few medical practices have problems building a client base, more clients always means more questions. Soon, your MOAs will find themselves fielding more questions than Starbucks gets orders for pumpkin spice lattes. And while the job description does entail having all the answers, the key is creating a means by which an MOA can do their own delegating.
This is when a good website becomes invaluable.
As the rest of the world pines for better SEO and Google Ad expertise, medical professionals pose a more interesting challenge to web designers with their website needs: creating a client-facing information tool that is intuitive to your office needs. In the world of technology, this can be an enormous feat, but it is an attainable one and some designers (like myself) thrive on the challenge.
Here are 4 ways your website can become a virtual MOA.
#1 – Frequently Asked Questions
One of the biggest requests I get from clients is an FAQ page for their website. (MOAs face a daunting amount of phone calls and emails seeking answers to oft-repeated questions.) A simple FAQ page in the form of a Q and A session is the first step in the delicate dance of providing accessibility and information to clients while allowing your MOAs to remain functional (and friendly) at the office. A well-designed FAQ page is inclusive and welcoming in its approach to fielding the most frequent questions clients ask.
#2 – Resource Pages
A close second to the FAQ is a Resource page, which provides links to other websites related to your practice (i.e. foundations, advocacy groups, etc.). It can also provide downloadable forms, online assessments, and informative handouts such as public awareness collateral. What an office should look for on these pages are up-to-date links to the latest information, as well as a clean and simple user aesthetic– namely, so MOAs are not gifted even more questions to answer.
#3 – Digital & Interactive Forms
Me and forms? We’re legendary foes–small boxes, not enough room to fill out my address; my list of grievances is long.
Needless to say, digitized and interactive PDF forms offer a ton of benefits. Not only do they eliminate the need to decipher a client’s handwriting, but they allow for a compact design, they’re easily accessible and they eliminate paper costs.
There is also an option to set up a specific submissions page (such as Google forms)–whereby you send your clients to the specified URL, they fill in the blanks on the webpage and press submit. Voila, the form is saved with the client’s info, it’s secure and accessible via your Google account. This type of webpage form is accessible on any device and makes file maintenance a dream.
And yes, older paper forms can be scanned and digitized (a common request I get). These forms are made into interactive PDFs that can be filled out online. In the event that you or a client requires a form filled out by hand, interactive PDFs can also be printed off and filled out as well. The only drawback to PDFs is the inability to fill them out on select cell phones, however, as technology advances, this is becoming less of an issue. Android, Google, Apple and Adobe Acrobat are all devising new ways to make interactive PDFs more accessible on phones. Until then, a client’s laptop or tablet will always do the job.
#4 – Virtual Appointments Page
And finally, include a dedicated Virtual Appointment (VA) page which will be a portal for virtual appointments via platforms like Zoom or Doxy. This page will be a single, permanent webpage that patients can bookmark or save to their favorites on their devices for future visits.
Staff turnover, retirement, added a specialist or additional business partners? No problem. The VA page can simply be updated with the current office professionals and eliminate the need to send any new links to the client.
A well-designed VA page has clear instructions on using the virtual services, a pre-appointment checklist to ensure the patient is ready on time, a headshot of the physician, and a clear indicator of where the patient can click to start the meeting (i.e. button or logo). It’s also best practice to include a link to platform support page (Zoom and Doxy both have one) in the event that the client’s camera or audio is not working, thereby circumventing a technical headache for both patient and physician.