If there’s any industry that moves forward and evolves as fast as the web industry it’s medicine and healthcare. It’s amazing to see how many GP surgeries have such out of date websites at the moment. A GP surgery website needs to reflect the forward thinking and professional approach the surgery takes in its daily operations. We’re going to outline key factors in why GP surgeries should pay more attention to their own website.
There are certain organisations that many people expect a certain standard from, one of these is the NHS. It’s been one of the great success stories of the United Kingdom since its formation in 1948. Millions of people use the service every year and expect a high standard of care when doing so, whether from a hospital, dentist, or GP surgery.
High quality design is required from all those involved within the NHS representing this high standard of care. This includes website design for GP surgeries. Unfortunately, a large number of GP surgery websites seem to miss the mark. And it really can have a negative impact on how the surgery is viewed by patients.
One key reason many patients visit a GP surgery website is to find out if it is the right practice to register with. In order for a patient to feel comfortable in making a decision many will want to know more about your staff, your clinics, and your premises. It’s important that this information is readily available and show photos of current staff so patients can see exactly who will be handling their care.
Using images of the surgery itself, alongside photos of staff, is a great way to make a patient feel comfortable by evoking a personal connection to them. A lack of photos can make the surgery feel artificial and unwelcoming and they may be less likely to use the services offered.
The above pictures from the Riverside Health Centre website give a clear view of surgery staff and the practice environment. Having a professional photo shoot for your own website is a great way to connect with patients.
A fundamental part of any successful GP surgery website is how easy it is for patients to find information. One way to accomplish this is to structure the website correctly and have a clear hierarchy in place. Patients will expect to see information presented in an order that makes logical sense. Make sure the most important information is the most obvious on a page. One item nearly all patients will be looking for when visiting your website is a ‘Systm Online’ link.
As can be seen above, Kirton Lindsey Surgery’s website makes it difficult to find this crucial information. The website design for Riverside Health Centre makes it clear at the top of every page making it easy for patients to find.
A clear and well thought out navigation is crucial when it comes to the usability of your GP surgery website. Organising your pages into sections and sub-sections allows patients to easily find the information they are looking for.
Both of the above points will make life easier for patients accessing your GP surgery website, especially those who may not be as technically gifted. One final feature that should be implemented is the ability for a patient to translate the website into their native language. More so than with websites in other sectors it’s important that this is offered. Many patients may not be fluent in English, and as a healthcare service it’s crucial they can still access information regarding their healthcare.
As we’ve stated in a previous article, a responsive website design is a must and your GP surgery website is no exception. We’re a society constantly on the go and the way patients will be accessing your GP surgery website has changed. You need to think mobile first. Make sure your website is simple and straight forward to use when viewed on a tablet or mobile phone.
It’s a competitive sector and towns often have multiple GP surgeries for patients to choose from. Your website may be the first one a patient visits, but if it’s hard to navigate or understand on a mobile device they’re likely to look elsewhere.
It’s clear to see which of the 2 examples is more accessible to mobile devices. This has a big impact on the success of your website.
Your GP surgery is constantly using new methods and treatments to give patients the best possible experience. Your website should do the same.. Having a website that is kept up to date with developments within the practice is essential. Simple things like a news feed telling patients of annual events such as flu shots are a great way of achieving this.
If your GP surgery website is not built on a content management system you may struggle to even keep basic information current. This includes staff who currently work there and critical information such as opening hours.
We recommend changing to a content managed website and make it the responsibility of one member of staff to maintain it. At Foundation we provide fully content managed websites and offer full training on how to use them.
If reading this you feel your own GP surgery website may be falling short in some aspects then we can help. We’ve worked with numerous clients within the healthcare sector and understand fully what should be delivered. One of our clients includes Riverside Health Centre, a large GP surgery partnership in Retford.
We are happy to provide a free consultation and give a full analysis of your current website to see where improvements can be made.