Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to change their core strategies and shift their business outlook. Perhaps no industry has been more greatly affected than the healthcare industry.
Not only has the healthcare industry been at the forefront of fighting the COVID pandemic, hospitals and clinics around the world couldn’t stop their services as other businesses could. They had to keep going.
Many healthcare organizations have fully embraced telehealth but that comes with a whole new set of challenges. How do you connect with customers? How is data protected? How is the process easy for them? What are the best practices of healthcare web design?
To better serve customers and connect with potential clients, the perfect telehealth website is a necessity.
The Rise of Telehealth
Telehealth, by no means, is a new concept. In fact, 60% of hospitals used telehealth in some capacity as far back as 2017. But when the COVID-19 pandemic came to the US in March 2020, the rise of telehealth almost looks comical.
Hospitals that previously reported <1% of total visits were telehealth patients were suddenly seeing those numbers jump up to 70% almost overnight. In March 2020 alone, telehealth visits rose by 154%, an almost comical figure.
Perhaps we were already moving in the direction of telehealth, but the pandemic has forced us to embrace that reality a bit early.
Plus, it appears telehealth is here to stay. In a Gartner poll, over 70% of consumers said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with their telehealth experience.
So how do you:
- Take advantage of this phenomenon.
- Do it correctly and engage your patients.
Let’s jump right in.
Make the Navigation Simple
When patients visit your site, they want to be able to schedule an appointment, view results, or download their prescription without getting lost on your site. Having simple navigation is vital for your telehealth site.
Keep the headers on your site basic. Think of why someone will be coming to your website:
- Make an appointment
- Learn about your services
- See how to get in contact
Design your website around those key features. Make it easy for users to schedule an appointment or set up a consultation. Don’t have them searching high and low for the most basic of information.
Those key goals should be just one or two clicks away. One of the biggest mistakes we see websites make is adding link after link to navigate the user to the right page. “Click depth” is measuring how many clicks it takes to get to a page. For your key pages, make it just one.
Remember Your Audience
Healthcare is something everyone needs. This isn’t a niche eCommerce store that caters to a very specific group of people. You will likely have people all across the demographic board, meaning you’ll likely have tech-illiterate patients trying to get in contact with your office or set up an appointment.
Making your data and layout as simple as possible is key to connecting with your patients. It will also cut down on the number of people having to call in because they can’t navigate your website effectively.
Provide a Great Experience
This year, Google is unrolling the page experience update, which adds many ranking factors to its algorithm. These factors are all about page speed and page experience.
- How quickly does your site load?
- Are there items and images shifting around?
- How quickly does your site process user requests (i.e. clicking on a link)?
Studies have shown that poor experience means users will be clicking away from your website…and may not be coming back. If you’re looking for a way to check if your website is slow, there are several tests you can run to find the main culprits.
Not only does poor page experience hurt your users’ interactions, but it can also damage your SEO and have your site take huge dips in the rankings.
Having a website that provides a positive user experience means that your patients won’t be frustrated when trying to book an appointment or learn more about your services.
In the digital world, your website is often the first impression people have of your healthcare organization. Make sure you give them a good impression.
Start with a Mobile-First Design
Did you know that nearly 60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices? That’s a huge jump from the paltry 5% it was a decade ago.
That means you need to start your design thinking of the mobile user first.
Responsive web design is a key aspect of starting mobile-first, as you will have to think about the number of different devices users could use. Responsive web design is the practice of making sure your website ‘responds’ to any device it is on, enlarging or minimizing itself to fit the necessary screen.
You should be optimizing your images for size, making sure your web elements work on all devices, and consulting with an experienced web developer to make sure your sites truly responsive.
Make Your Website Compliant
Healthcare organizations are no strangers to compliance such as HIPAA. However, when it comes to your website, you need to make sure your website is ADA compliant.
The ADA, or the Americans With Disabilities Act, is a law that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination. While the law is not new, there have been mode guidelines added in the last decade to protect individuals while they are online. These rules and regulations cover web accessibility and other things such as:
- Having alt-tags on images
- Video and audio alternatives
- Audio description
- Captions on videos or presentations
One may think that healthcare websites would automatically be focused on ADA compliance, but that’s not often the case. In 2017, there were over 800 lawsuits against healthcare organizations for not adhering to ADA compliance.
If you’re not sure if your website is ADA compliant, undergoing an ADA website audit is a necessary step.
Don’t Be Afraid to Showcase Some Reviews
A 2020 study from Brightlocal showed that around 87% of consumers read online reviews before making a decision about a business. People look at star rating, legitimacy, recency, sentiment, and quality.
Managing online reviews in places such as Yelp and Google My Business should be a part of your local SEO strategy, putting reviews on your website can help make you more legitimate as well.
Take reviews from some of your past patients and put them on your home page. This will be a way to catch visitors who happen upon your site through organic or other means. If they see you have strong reviews and positive ratings, then they’re more likely to sign up for your service.
Make it Visually Appealing
You may not have a creative bone in your body, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recognize a good-looking website when you see one.
There is a basic list of items you can adhere to when creating your website:
- Professional images
- Limited color palette
- Leave white space
- Limit your animations
Too much color or too many animations means you’re going to have a distracting website. Cheap or blurry photos show a lack of professionalism when people head to your website.
If you feel a bit out of your depth, you can always reach out to a web designer to help you with your site’s overall look and feel.
The Telehealth Web Design Process at Atiba
To get you started, we’ll have a meeting with you and your team for the initial consultation and strategy appointment. From there, we’ll dive into our wireframes to give you the framework for your website. Lastly, we’ll start on the design, making sure to keep you updated throughout.
We know your telehealth website is a big step for your organization in helping you connect with your patients and offer better service. If you’ve got a question or want to talk about your project, reach out and request a quote. We can’t wait to work with you.