Consumers are expecting more from websites. They want sites that are transactional.
Hospital websites have been a staple of hospital marketing efforts for many years now. It’s not only expected, it’s a necessity. There is probably no hospital in America without a website.
As you peruse various hospital websites, most are fairly good and some are very good. All the necessary information is provided: location, services, careers, information for patients, schedule of educational classes and the like. And of course, the mandatory stuff that most visitors don’t read like mission statement, values and history are there. And some sites provide extremely helpful and quite comprehensive health information.
Is this enough? In an age where consumers expect websites to have interaction and commerce, most hospital websites come up short. Basic informational sites, regardless of how robust the information, are no longer adequate. Consumers expect to interact and transact business on websites. And hospitals need to take the next step in that direction. The more advanced hospital sites allow visitors to:
- Order flowers from the gift shop to be delivered to patient rooms.
- Select get-well cards online that can be customized and personalized, printed within the hospital and delivered.
- Sign up for classes and seminars.
- View their bill and make payments online.
- Complete and submit electronically pre-admission registration forms.
As consumers depend more and more on the web to conduct business and to get things accomplished, hospitals have to adjust. Just providing information is not enough anymore. More will be expected. And the faster these services are available, the sooner hospitals can use their website to more effectively create points of contact with the consumer, establish a stronger relationship, build loyalty and enhance the brand.