Monday, October 10, 2011
Promoting Hospital Doctors: 8 Creative Ideas for your Website
Here are eight creative ideas for featuring your doctors on your site:
1. Pictures: Nothing says reassuring, confident and experienced like pictures of your doctors interacting with patients and each other. Feature them on many pages of your website—especially clinical care pages. Even without a quote or a name, that picture tells your visitors, “I will take care of you.” I like to post photographs of physicians talking to patients—I find this demonstrates patient education is an important part of the clinical program.
2. Scrolling marquis: What a great way to show off your doctors and their expertise or personality. A picture of a doctor combined with his or her name, credentials and a quote gives your visitors a glimpse about who will be caring for them. Mix up the kinds of quotes you use—some should be about patient care, while others highlight your hospital’s research and technology strengths. See how University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center combines pictures and quotes from doctors, volunteers and patients right on their home page. Your eye is drawn immediately to the changing display, and there is a “read more” option on each picture.
3. “Find a Doctor”: Display this box prominently. Your visitors want to know what your doctors specialize in, and how they can access their expertise. Include a quick search box on your homepage, and make it easy to search your physician directory.
Include search options by:
• Physician name
• By diagnoses/procedures
• By departments, services or specialties
• Location, if your hospital includes satellite offices
• Language, if you have bilingual doctors
4. Showcase Expertise: The nice picture may interest your visitors, but it’s the impressive resume that makes them pick up the phone for an appointment (or better yet, use your online scheduling system). Each physician should have a page with their credentials and a phone number, but also a short bio that tells the visitor a little more about them—different schools, fields of interest, important publications. Write the bio in third person, or in first, like the ones at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Consider using tabs to divide the bio into areas that different user audiences may find interesting. For example, researchers might want to see a long listing of publications, while patients may just want to know research interests. See Mass General’s doctor lists, for an example. For many of their doctors, you can quickly scan the tabs and then jump to your area of interest right away.
5. Highlight different roles: Your physicians are scientists and researchers, experts in their field and above all, compassionate human beings. On your homepage, include a few intriguing snippets about your physicians that invite your visitors to click and learn more. For example, pediatric specialists who have children can talk about how being a parent influences the type of care they give.
6. Take advantage of free press: If a physician at your hospital was featured on a talk show, radio show, or made any sort of public appearance, link to that appearance on your website’s homepage. A doctor at the University of Washington Medical Center appeared on Dr. Oz’s talk show—that is definitely something you would want to let your visitors know about! It makes the impression that this doctor is an expert—an impression you want to cultivate.
7. Use video to demonstrate personality: Include a short video clip of a physician explaining a diagnostic procedure or what to expect before surgery. Talking head videos are important for a patient to get to know a doctor, but aren’t necessarily the best for explaining a particular disease. Make sure your doctor feels comfortable—it won’t help you if the doctor seems fidgety in front of the camera.