1/17/2018

Attract More Patients with Health Education—4 Ways to Up Your Online Game

Healthwise Patient Education Team

Editor’s Note: Controlling costs and increasing revenue are crucial keys to meeting fiscal goals and providing quality care. In this blog series, we’ll look at how patient education can help lower readmissions, reduce ED overutilization, and generate revenue. In this post you’ll discover how you can use patient education online to convert consumers to patients.

People are already searching online for health education. In fact, 80 percent of Internet users say they look for health information.

picture of eBook


Your website offers an excellent opportunity to help people get answers to their health questions. Here are four ways patient education can help you reach digital consumers:

1. Fill up your website with answers.

Imagine if Google searches drove people straight to your website. Be prepared—optimize your website for better online search rankings by using trustworthy and accessible patient education. This will increase your visibility and help you position yourself as an expert resource. What types of information are people looking for? Of the nearly 200 million Americans who search for health information online:

  • 66% want information about a specific disease or medical issue.
  • 56% are looking for information about a certain medical treatment or procedure.
  • 44% want information about doctors or other health professionals.

When people find credible and accurate answers to their health questions on your website, you build trust. And, when people trust you, it’s more likely they’ll think of you first when looking for a provider.

2. Be convenient and portable.

Present your patient education in ways people want. Use easy-to-read formatting techniques like quick tips, step-by-step plans, or lists that consumers can quickly scan.

And think about how your content can reach people in the ways they want to receive it.

  • Some people like printed pieces, because they’re easy to annotate or use as checklists to help them keep track of important things. Make sure it’s easy to print from your website.
  • Others want instant access to content on mobile devices they can carry anywhere. So, your patient education should be available and responsive across a range of devices.

3. Get social.

Use health education content on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to encourage engagement. Bite-sized pieces of information—reminders about the importance of sunscreen on the ski slopes, for example, or messages about getting your flu shot in the fall—are a perfect fit for social media posts.

Americans spend three times as much time on social media as they do on email. Take advantage of the opportunities social media offers you when it comes to driving traffic back to your website. And the high degree of interaction means that when people share your content online, your reach is extended exponentially.

4. Simplify next steps.

Once people are on your site, following your social media posts, and reading your health information, make it simple for them to take the next step to becoming a patient. Use health education to connect and communicate with consumers so that you stay in the forefront of their minds.

  • Offer simple, intuitive ways for people to find doctors or schedule appointments after finding the information they’re looking for.
  • Create an e-newsletter that people can subscribe to. Include health education articles, reminders, and tips.
  • Suggest that people follow you on Twitter or “like” you on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest health information and trends.
  • Encourage people to share your content. On Facebook alone, more than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week.

Connect with patients wherever they live, work, and play. Integrating your health education content online and creating a social media strategy can make a significant difference in the numbers of patients you attract.

Read our eBrief, Generating Revenue and Controlling Costs—The Hidden Talents of Patient Education, for more information on how you can attract more patients and meet your critical fiscal goals.

 

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