Most health care professionals prioritize patient education, because an educated patient makes wise, informed decisions for treatment. This translates into higher case acceptance rates for your practice.
While personal consultations, combined with videos, images, and print materials are important in patient education, don’t overlook the most convenient and customized tool in your arsenal: your website and blog.
The Nucleus for Patient Communication
Your website should be created to A) reflect the brand and philosophy of your office; B) increase your visibility to potential patients by appealing to search engines; C) provide a resource for new patients to find your contact information and location; D) provide a resource for current patients to find post operative instructions, office news, and emergency contact information.
You can also integrate your blog, newsletter, and patient recognition program into your website. In some states, and for some medical disciplines, a website also creates an opportunity for patients to share testimonials. In addition to all of this, your website should also provide a custom library of patient education materials, including text, diagrams, images, and/or video.
Medicine is a rapidly evolving field, particularly in this age of technological advancements. Traditional print materials for patient education can quickly become outdated as research, tools, and protocols change.
For instance, if a dentist adds laser periodontal treatment to his treatment options, he may need to find and replace all patient education materials in the office regarding traditional periodontal treatment. At the least, he should supplement the materials with information about the new laser treatment option. On a website, the information can be added instantly. Furthermore, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of search engine optimization for the new procedure.
A wall of brochures can be overwhelming to a patient, and busy people don’t want to take time to watch patient education videos. Let’s consider WebMD.com. This website allows people to pinpoint health concerns, then find potential reasons for their symptoms. From there, users can review information relevant to their situation and narrow down potential causes of symptoms.
Of course, the Internet should not be used for definitive diagnosis or treatment recommendations. However, people appreciate the convenience of quickly finding information that applies to their situation, instead of pouring through texts or wading through brochures and reports that may result in a great waste of time.
Updating Your Website & Targeting Your Blog
If you’d like to leverage your existing website for patient education, take these steps.
1) Find a competent copywriter to compose search-engine-optimized content that’s clinically accurate, yet easy for patients to understand.
2) Read and edit every page that will be placed on your website. Your license and reputation are at stake.
3) Make sure that all of the services and library pages on your website contain original content (not found on other websites) that reflects your practice philosophy and treatment preferences.
4) Post a separate page for every service, tool, post operative instruction, and symptom that you consider important in your practice.
5) Make sure that your website host and support professional appropriately organize the pages so that they are easy for patients and your front office team to find.
6) Make sure that your website host and support professional include metadata and search engine optimization (links, headers, etc.) to maximize your online presence for each page on your website.
7) Your copywriter should compose, optimize, and post at least one new blog per week on your practice blog. The text should address services you provide, in addition to news about your practice and about healthy living.
8) On your website and blog, include a search feature so that your team members and patients can quickly find information on any topic.
9) Train your team to refer to your website when patients email or ask questions. The website pages, since they reflect your professional opinions and offerings, can be used for patient education in the office, as well as in patients’ homes and places of work.
10) Include your website and blog domains on all print materials in your office, and post them on your signage, as well.
Your Source for Custom Websites, Blogs, & Dental Copywriting
If you’d like to discuss your website, blog, copy, and SEO strategy, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today. Our copywriters, editors, graphic designers, and SEO specialists work exclusively for dentists. We understand your business model, as well as your target market. Furthermore, we understand dentistry and advertising guidelines for the industry. Call 972-781-8861 today for a free website analysis and action plan.