Web surfers are increasingly suspicious and mistrustful these days, and rightfully so. Hackers are continually innovating cutting-edge ways to infiltrate and corrupt unsecure websites to gain remote access to computers, steal information, and commit credit card fraud and identity theft.
Spam ads constantly bombard from all directions, and it is so easy to make a cookie-cutter website nowadays that amateur, unsecure websites abound. Recent hacks of medical record information have made news headlines in the news, and this has made patients wary of storing their Protected Health Information (PHI) online.
For any serious business then, it is paramount to build good faith and confidence with clients throughout their experience on your website, and this is especially true in physician website design, where trust elements are crucial to site stickiness and conversion rates.
So how should a medical website project a safe environment to its visitors? The following are considerations any medical website designer should keep in mind.
1. A Professional Website
A professional-looking website is perhaps the most important factor in generating trust and confidence in your visitors. It is the first and most impactful impression of an enterprise, and often visitors decide very quickly whether they want to stay and explore a site or move on. A shoddy website in general does not inspire confidence, and will look susceptible to hacking and corruption. A shoddy medical website will have clients thinking twice before scheduling an appointment or ordering treatments. With design the devil is in the details, and medical websites should be well crafted, fully functional, and professionally customized.
If you want your site to exude security, then it should probably actually be secure. A HIPAA-compliant website must meet many technical specifications, including SSL certification for encrypting and securing sensitive patient information, HIPAA-compliant web hosting and patient portals, email systems that meet requirements for archiving, discovery, and security, and collaboration with third-party companies to ensure internal and external compliance.
3. Badges and Logos
Displaying accreditation/association badges, such as from the American Medical Association and your medical specialty’s association lends institutional authentication. If you have any ratings or reviews in the press, include a media badge and a title, like “Top Cardiologists of 2016.” Other badges, like Good Practice Seals (think Better Business Bureau) and Years of Experience are also good ideas.
If you accept payments on your website, then logos are another way to instill confidence and security. Displaying logos for secure checkout such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express can increase your credibility as an online vendor.
4. About Page
No one likes dealing with automated systems or faceless entities. The About Page is your chance to give a human identity to your website, where your clients can get a feel for who you are and what you do. Show close-up portraits of team members and include biographies with a personal touch. This will make your team more relatable, your visitors more comfortable, and your site more approachable.
Satisfied endorsements speak much louder than anything you can say for yourself. Proudly display awards, customer testimonials, and reviews and ratings from ZocDocs, Vitals, Healthgrades, or RateMDs.
Providing informative and educational material on a regular basis will establish you as an authority in your field. Clients will open up if they see that you are a knowledgeable, reliable source of information, and giving freely of advice fosters rapport and goodwill. Blogging allows you to maintain a running dialogue with your clients, and creates the opportunity for client engagement and interaction in the comments section. Fresh content will also keep visitors coming back for more, and long-term relationships are always good for business.