Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why Your Hospital Needs More Than Just A Website

The internet has become the most important source of information in the world. A recent survey in India found that seventy two percent of  Indians online search for healthcare related information. With an increasingly large number of people going online before making any healthcare related decision, it has become more important than ever for hospitals and doctors to have their websites.

All the larger and teaching hospitals have realized the importance of having a website. The web company, Webometrics has ranked all teaching hospitals of the world according to their web presence, taking into consideration their search engine visibility, available digital content and published studies in online databases. Here’s a list of the top 12 Indian teaching hospitals according to their web metrics in 2011.

Rank In India
World Rank
Laparoscopy Hospital
Sankara Nethralaya Hospital
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
Tata Memorial Centre
Aravind Eye Care System
King George Medical College and Hospital
Sri Ramachandra University & Medical Centre
Apollo Hospitals
L.R.S. Institute of Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
Fortis Healthcare
Max Healthcare

A number of comparatively smaller healthcare centers in India have also recognized the importance of having a high quality medical website ( eg: Skin Hair Clinic  ,Cura Physiotherapy Clinic and Divinations Healthcare).

So what are the five main reasons for building a website for hospitals?

1)     Provide Service Information:
Websites allow you to describe complex services available at your medical center  in great details. This allows healthcare professionals to educate healthcare consumers about all the services available even before they visit the facility. 

2)    Build healthcare brand.
Healthcare services are people facing business and all people facing business need to build themselves into a Brand. Websites and blogs are wonderful tools for Brand building among people and news reporters looking for related information online.

3)    Improve search optimization ranking.
Just having a website does not guarantee you a high visibility. Websites which contain posts focused on keywords and extensive link building help improve search engine rankings and therefore greater probability of being found online.

4)    Distribute informative content.
Websites help hospitals/ doctors inform consumers about latest health research and guide them into healthy lifestyles. Thus medical websites can act as a great resource for people looking for information on preventive healthcare practices. In turn, consumers in need are more likely to turn to curative services which provide them information for their preventive healthcare needs.

5)     Build a healthcare community
Maybe the most important thing a website can do for any healthcare institution is to build an online community. Patients love to be able to connect with doctors and also other patients in similar circumstances as them. Having a website allows a healthcare provider to fill this huge gap of doctor-patient and patient-patient interaction.

A useful medical website is more than just an effort at ego boosting.  A truly high quality medical website needs a good blend of technological and medical expertise. To get yourself a truly useful internet presence (as opposed to just a run-of-the-mill website), contact today.