Guest Column | February 27, 2018

Trust-Farming Reality Of Modern Medical Portals

By Katrine Spirina, OCSICO

Resellers Don’t Buy From Vendors They Don’t Trust

In the digital age, Internet opinion is the benchmark when it comes to choosing competitive services or goods. Medical web portals, complex by nature, have to keep up with the reality, whilst healthcare providers are wondering how to transform medical portals into the platforms for trust-building interaction with current and prospective service consumers.

The loyalty of clients and partners is easy to lose at the time of globalization and informatization. Medical tourism trends survey provides staggering data regarding the number of patients traveling abroad to receive high-quality medical treatment - more than 10 million annually! This figure is growing up to 25 percent per year intensifying competition among market-players and making them focus on information transparency.

If healthcare providers want to ensure long-lasting and beneficial relations with clients, they will wonder about integrating web portals into their loyalty-building strategies. This task requires complex approach: the high ranking of a medical platform depends on such components as content development, feedback management, customers support, personalization, etc. Unfortunately, doctors and other healthcare experts are fully engaged in life-saving activities and may believe that medical websites, ones launched, do not require timely updates. But a website is not a self-running entity. Portals should continuously evolve in the consumers’ best interests. Depending on its complexity, a website can offer extremely useful tools for monitoring patients' activity level, enhancing relations with partners and for medical practices animation. In sum, a high-quality portal wins higher ranking in search engines, reduce consumers’ time spent on finding reputable healthcare facilities and arms providers with a competitive advantage. That is why the maintenance of web portals should be handed over to well-versed teams of medical experts, marketers and e-commerce specialists.

Specific Nature Of Medical Services

In the healthcare domain, the relations between consumers and providers are based on mutual doctor-patient trust. Aggressive marketing, on the one hand, may trigger the influx of consumers, but on the other hand, it undermines the credibility of a web portal. Information picked for publishing should be original, catchy and fit in the practical needs of the targeted audience. Stats speak in favor of this claim: 90 percent of patients find the original content useful; 78 percent choose to entrust their well-being to healthcare providers who update websites with original content.

If marketers give vague statements, patients go on looking for more credible answers. In case a featured story is a cliché, the audience scrolls it and skips the website. When patients come across a plain text so overloaded with medical jargon that they cannot grasp a word, they might feel themselves fooled and tricked. A great healthcare website should highlight real stories, significant achievements or medical innovations supplemented by engaging videos, infographics, and survey results.

Compliance With HIPAA On Social Media

Social media can bring enormous perks to a medical organization or play a harmful role in creating company’s image. It is vital to see the fine line: be social and ensure patient privacy. It is an easy task, provided that your healthcare content marketer observes rules of thumb:

  • Clarify objectives of presence on social media. The greatest content for publishing involves health tips, practical how-to-do medical answers, patient feedback, events and innovation adds. Such posts would not go against HIPAA.
  • Pick a media platform. Tweeter and Facebook are more focused respectively on promotional and contact activities. Company’s blog suits better for publishing informative articles aimed at sharing new expertise.
  • Schedule postings and monitor visitors’ comments. A trained content manager should use media kits to post & react on time. It’s inspiring to learn about patients’ gratitude, but negative comments also happen. They should not be taken down but should be politely responded. Any posts, even published by patients, that doesn’t comply with HIPAA should be removed, and a publisher should be kindly explained why it happened. Otherwise, the target audience will feel like their provider fabricates the corporate image.

Efficient Tech Solutions Only!

  • Popular CMS such as Sitecore, SharePoint, AEM facilitate managing custom medical web portals and provide excellent capabilities to enhance user experience and promote digital marketing strategies. The systems enable a user-friendly interface, collaboration and sharing options that allow the involvement of medical professionals in editing and proofreading activities. Also, off-the-shelf or custom CMS offer templates and tools to boost corporate identity.
  • Amazon Cloud

Amazon Web Services provide a set of cloud servers: The Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), for virtual servers, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), for file storage. Amazon has taken a lead since the year 2015 and launches new features and services in far greater number than the competitors. Amazon Cloud solutions offer as much computing capacity as all other cloud providers in the market.

  • Microsoft Azure

This cloud solution offers a platform-as-a-service layer (PaaS) and facilitates app development. It incorporates lower-level-infrastructure services and answers the demands of businesses of various sizes. The solution complies with Microsoft's standard for Windows programming and perfectly suits for moving Microsoft apps to the Cloud. Another perk is the discount on the Azure server that enterprises can get by using other Microsoft software products. Moreover, Azure Cloud server is fast-growing, as the developers assure.

Cooperation With Insurance Companies

Prior to choosing a new healthcare provider, consumers will prefer to learn comprehensive information about health insurance terms and conditions. Up to the date, medical websites are expected to cooperate with insurance companies to provide users with relevant insurance options by taking into account patients location areas and current offers of local insurance vendors. Integration with databases of insurance companies will allow continuous information updates. Billing tools enabled by efficient CMS will assist healthcare providers to monitor and invoice patients.

Medical professionals may believe website management to be a kind of routine activity. Nonetheless, they place importance on well-established cooperation with patients. Their needs are especially familiar to reliable web development services providers. Expert developers create each component of a web portal so that the whole solution will generate consumers' trust and loyalty and provide healthcare organizations with straightforward and cost-efficient support services. It is challenging enough for developers to strike a balance in designing and crafting an information solution. But that is the way to make patients never regret their choice of a new healthcare provider.