Eighty percent of people look for health information online. And
the top three things they're searching for are:
Information about commonly missed symptoms that can lead to
more serious illiness
Information about medical procedures and treatments
Information about doctors and other healthcare
Your website is an inexpensive and effective way to reach out to
new and current patients. But does your site really give people
want they want to see?
I guess the first question is: Should your site provide the
health information people are looking for?
Medicine obviously can't be practiced online. And we definitely
don't want people to stop seeing doctors and start self-diagnosing
based on information they find online. But I do think hospitals and
clinics could make their websites more patient-focused and a little
less facility- or capability-focused. It's all about finding that
balance between the practical information - doctors, technology,
locations, service lines - and the resourceful information -
symptoms, common diseases, and descriptions of procedures.
Here are a few ways to incorporate some of the things patients
really want from a website:
Diseases and Procedures
For each of your hospital or clinic's specialties list common
diseases, injuries, symptoms and procedures. You could even create
videos with physicians from each specialty discussing these
Have a technology section on your site that discusses different
procedures and tests. Talk about how each is performed and what
information each produces.
Doctors and Healthcare Professionals
Create medical staff videos that are posted on your website and
on social media networks. Make sure the videos touch on more than
just medical credentials. Potential patients want to see a doctor's
personality! This is a great way to make a good first
Post patient testimonial videos and quotes. These provide
powerful word-of-mouth recommendations for your doctors and
By implementing these ideas, you'll be able to engage with
people more effectively on your website. And they'll think of how
helpful your site was when they are looking for a doctor or
By: John Corpus, V.P. of Strategy
Legato Healthcare Marketing
It really isn't that hard to figure out. Retail health clinics
give us what we have been looking for all along - affordable and
convenient healthcare for the most common ailments that affect us
on a day-to-day basis.
Again, we are not talking about trauma or even urgent care
visits, but the acute and episodic visits, e.g., ear infection,
rash, urinary tract infection, etc., which most health systems
funnel to mid-levels in the first place.
I recently spoke with a group of physicians who belong to a
healthcare system that is considering adding a retail health clinic
access point to its access platform. In short, the physicians are
pretty traditional, and not thrilled about the idea of adding
retail health clinics. They believe that it will demean the medical
Patients…, no customers, do not see it that way. And many of the
larger and respected healthcare systems have jumped on board:
2006: … the AMA board acknowledged that retail health clinics
were controversial but ultimately decided the clinics fit
long-standing AMA policy that encourages "multiple entry points"
into the health care system. It also developed guidelines that
clinics must follow.
Some plans, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield (of Minnesota,
Florida, and Tennessee), Aetna, and Humana have already begun
2006: "Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, MinuteClinic? I don't
think so," said Robert Goldberg, DO, a physical medicine and
rehabilitation specialist from New York, who is also the president
of the Medical Society of the State of New York
2009: Cleveland Clinic partners with MinuteClinic, links
EMRs, By Bernie Monegain, Editor, Created
2011: Mayo Clinic places retail health clinic in the Mall of
2008: AAFP members are all over the board when it comes to
retail health. Some are strongly opposed to retail clinics, while
others serve as supervising physicians for the clinics or receive
patient referrals from the clinics
2012: (CEO of MinuteClinic) Our first affiliations were formed
in 2009 with Cleveland Clinic in Northern Ohio and Allina Hospitals
and Clinics in the Twin Cities. MinuteClinic has since formed
affiliations with another 16 health systems, including Emory
Healthcare, Henry Ford Health System and Advocate Health Care.
These are some of the largest and most prominent medical delivery
organizations in the country. Many are led by physicians and
medical groups. Taken together, the 18 health systems represent 157
hospitals and more than 38,700 physicians. We are forming these
affiliations to best address the primary care shortage.
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It
is clear that, with the addition of 32 million uninsured hitting
the healthcare system of the United States in 2014, and with the
current primary care provider shortage, that healthcare is changing
faster than we can manage.
NOW is the time to prepare for the 2014 flood of patients.
Retail health clinics present an opportunity, now more than ever,
for healthcare systems to transition their access platforms to meet
the needs of the patients.
Physicians may argue that they better understand the needs of
the patients, and from a medical perspective, this is probably
true. But, patients with acute and episodic conditions "want"
immediate access and "desire" immediate treatment. From the
patients' perspective, this constitutes their need!