The best healthcare websites combine functionality with high-end design. They rank well in major search engines, are appealing to the eye and, most importantly, make it easy for visitors to find information. After sorting through hundreds of hospital websites, we have come up with a list of five sites that exemplify these characteristics. The following websites are user-friendly, feature high-quality content, and employ the latest web technologies. They are all great models for other healthcare websites to aspire to.
1. American Family Children’s Hospital
Consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals, American Family Children’s Hospital delivers an exceptional online experience as well. While most hospital websites tend to be all business, AFCH manages to incorporate a playful design without compromising on professionalism or accessibility. Two menu levels help organize content and keep the site clutter-free. Meanwhile, a sidebar provides quick links to resources site visitors might find useful, depending on where they are on the site. With social media becoming increasingly important in healthcare for reaching out to patients, we especially appreciate the small, unobtrusive social media sidebar that follows visitors throughout the site. In addition to inviting people to share the page with their friends on Facebook Twitter or Google+, the sidebar provides the option to make a donation to the hospital or change the text size on the page for easier reading.
2. Southern Ohio Medical Center
With a crisp color scheme and stunning slideshow intro, SOMC’s website immediately grabs people’s attention. The home page highlights important news and events and points site visitors to frequently used online services such as the hospital’s patient portal, online bill pay feature, and financial assistance application. Plus, the development of a mobile-friendly version of the website makes it easy for patients to find information on-the-go, from a smartphone or tablet. Another great feature we love, which many of the best hospital websites are starting to incorporate, is the ability for visitors to change the font size on the site. This simple custom programming addition makes content easier to read for the elderly and farsighted.
3. Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter Health)
This major brand of hospitals welcomes visitors to their website with a minimalist design and crisp color scheme. In contrast to other hospital websites, PAMF’s home page is clutter-free, drawing visitors’ eyes to the resources they need without having to go further into the site. For many patients, this kind of organization is key for locating basic information. Two useful features we like about PAMF’s website are the ability to check wait times at some of the local urgent care centers that are part of the Sutter Health network and the ability to see accepted health plans. This allows patients to make informed decisions about where they seek out medical care. The hospital also encourages patients to download their mobile health app, which is available for both iPhone and Android – a smart decision considering tech savvy patients want these kinds of options.
4. Dayton Children’s
Dayton Children’s hospital uses a cool color scheme, toned-down design, and a scroll-over menu with dropdowns for easy-to-use navigation. The sidebar, which follows visitors throughout the site, provides access to important resources like the “find a doctor” search tool and online bill pay, in addition to other quick links that change depending on the page you are viewing on the site. Another great feature on the homepage allows visitors to enter a condition or symptom for help finding a doctor. The homepage also highlights articles from Dayton Children’s blog, a useful resource in and of itself. The blog helps build trust with readers, draws them deeper into the website, and adds to the value of the online content that the hospital provides.
A large home page banner and clean layout make this one of the most user-friendly hospital website designs around. In fact, when you first enter the website, you can tell right away that Scripps is all about the user experience, making their site easy to use for even the least Internet-literate people. Though they use several menu levels to organize content and keep the site sleek, what the site does best is draw visitors’ attention to a handful of options on the banner. With questions like, “What can we help you find?” and “Do you need help finding a doctor?” visitors can quickly find exactly what they are looking for without having to search through the different menus. This hospital website knows what people want, and it gets straight to the point.
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