Best Hospital Websites Put Patients First

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , March 28, 2012

There are few things more frustrating on cyberspace than visiting a website and not being able to easily find what you need. It’s the online equivalent of walking into a grocery store abroad and having no idea where to find the milk. You’re forced to meander around, hoping to stumble across the correct aisle, which of course, is in the last place you’d think.

St. Helena website

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Too many hospital websites hide the milk. I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve visited that don’t have a "Contact Us" page, or a page listing all of its service lines, or even a search box.

But do you know what all hospital websites do have? A lengthy "About Us" page, describing the organization’s history in minute detail. And don’t get me wrong, those pages are informative and useful, especially to us journalists.

But to the average patient trying to find out which floor the lab is on, or their cardiologist’s phone number, it’s wasted space.

Hospital websites must be patient-focused. Your website is often the first experience a new patient has with your organization, and if it’s confusing and hard to navigate, you’re already getting off on the wrong foot.

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1 comments on "Best Hospital Websites Put Patients First"

Bill Sterzenbach (2/6/2013 at 9:54 AM)
Sometimes it makes sense to hide the milk. In fact, there is a very good reason why it's not by the register. When determining the architecture for your site, you need to determine which items need to be by the register and which should be in the back aisle. Too often, health-related websites make info TOO accessible - sometimes a visitor SHOULD be required to learn a bit before getting to "the goodies". For example, a few pages on the risks and costs wedged between a marketing piece on robotics and the "contact us about robotics options" page.




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