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Practice Web Site
DSh Offline
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:06:42 PM(UTC)
DSh


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Practice Web Site


According to our research, the majority of small and medium medical practices doesn't have web site. In other words, these practices have no Internet presence, patients don't know how to find these practices, how to contact them and schedule an appointment.


Many people use Internet to find the nearest practices and many of them usually take into account the customer reviews. They carefully read what other people think about different practices to choose the one that they are going to visit. And the final decision is usually very quick. If there are several practices in the same area, then in most cases only the practices having a solid web site, telling about the practice, provider, office staff, location, contact info, patient testimonials, etc. will be added to the practice list for further consideration. After the first list is created these practices will be closer reviewed for the patient opinions and only the best practices will remain in the final list. At last, the location of the particular practice, the doctor language, name, or even photo can make a big difference for the patient decision and his final step to accept this particular practice from a very long list.


The practice web site gives a very strong first impression about office and doctor. Missing web site is a very serious mistake that the practice can make. Many providers think that they have enough patients, they are too busy and they should not worry about the practice web site: “The Internet is something virtual, but we are real, we have the banners above the office front door, on the windows, we printed out thousands of business cards, we even included our information in random local newspapers for a couple of times…” Does it sound familiar? Before we decided to start our web forum we made a detailed research on the Internet and found over 24,000 only registered podiatry practices in the USA. Most of them, say, about 75-80% don’t have own web sites, and even many those, who have web sites, don’t provide email addresses to contact them. In the best cases there is the office phone number and sometimes the provider mobile phone number. And that’s all.


You can dramatically improve your presence on the Internet if you consider just a few simple steps.



  1. First, you need to find a good domain name for your practice. As shorter your domain name is, as better. A short name can be easier recalled when required. Also the name should explain the purpose of the web site. For example, the name NYPodiatry.com will tell you everything about the web site even before you open it, and it’s very easy to understand and memorize this name. Different abbreviations are good only for those who know what that means. But it’s a serious challenge to understand the meaning of RsetxgxewePOD.com. It is hard to memorize and correctly type a domain name having many words inside. For example, the name like NewYourHeepAndAnkleGreatPodiatry.com will not be a very good choice. On the other hand, the practice name if it is used as a part of a domain name is the best choice, people will always with no doubt connect the practice real name with the web site. The problem is that it’s extremely hard to find a free domain name that you will like, because all one-word and two-word combinations are already occupied. There are many tricks helping to find and register a good domain name, and this is a good content for a separate article. If you need an advice, just post a reply to this topic and we’ll try to answer your questions in detail.

  2. You need a good reliable internet hosting, say, providing by Arvixe - http://www.arvixe.com/2030.html. There are many different companies like GoDaddy, 1and1 and others, promising good service. We tested many of them and there are many reasons why we decided to work with Arvixe. We can answer your questions when they appear.

  3. You finally need a good web site, i.e. the set of files that should be uploaded to the web host. In most cases you need to find a professional programmer or a person who knows how all that works to do that for you. But in some rear cases, if you have time and wish, you can even do that yourself using simple web site builders providing by hosting company. These web site builders are able to create a simple web site with just a few web pages using different predefined templates that you will be able to select from a lot of different samples developed by professional designers. So you will only need to enter your personal information and that’s all. From the first view, these “standardized” web sites are enough for a small office. But if we recall how many podiatry offices exist only in the USA and the number of free web site templates that can be used, it is very easy to estimate how many “siblings” we’ll get on the Internet using same templates. It’s very easy to lose personality and get lost among multiple sites like yours. That’s the main reason why providers want to get something extra, not just a standard 3-5 page web site using a well-known template. And, beginning with this moment, a very serious site building work stars. If you want to get a custom web site, you can order the features that you want, you can add your photos, articles, whatever you want. You can periodically update your site to provide real up-to-date information and to keep the searching engines alerted. You can always add a special page for your patient testimonials. All your ideas can be easily implemented and you will finally get what you were dreaming about.

  4. As an additional feature – the practice web site can be combined with EMR (Patient Electronic Medical Record) application using by the same practice. These applications should be created by a group of professional programmers, and in this case the development process can take several years or longer. But you know what you get – ideally a complete patient management system available 24/7 to you and to all your patients. This system can include medical records, patient medical questionnaire, patient history, appointment scheduler, chart notes, diagnostic system, treatments and patient treatment history, billing system, reports, x-ray and other images storage system, etc. These complex solutions are much more expensive than a simple web site, but in most situations they are able to completely automate the entire office and help providers serve more patients for the same period of time. We spent many years developing these systems and we know how complicated they can be.


It is completely your choice. If you want to start with a web site for your office, that’s the right solution. If should be done as soon as possible if you’re still not having it. Do not muiss this opportunity. But then you’d better start thinking about EMR system that you could use in your office.


 

Dimi
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