When it comes to picking the right healthcare web developer, there’s a lot you need to take into consideration–unique expertise in areas like security, branding, regulatory savvy, and more.
Over 75% of patients are searching online for medical advice and doctors, not to mention Googling their symptoms and medication info. Put simply, if your organization’s site isn’t providing information in a professional, clean, and transparent way, you risk alienating prospective patients. A healthcare website developer can help you achieve this, but you have to know what to look for.
The Right Credentials
The healthcare field comes with its own set of challenges and requirements, so it’s smart to partner with a team that’s been around the block a few times.
The best way to gauge the level of your healthcare web developer is to explore what kind of sites they’ve built in the past. Here are some things to look out for:
- Responsive. Any great healthcare website needs to be responsive. That means that no matter what device your patients are using to access your site, every page will look great.
- Intuitive. Intuitive navigation is at the heart of a good healthcare website. It determines how many users stay on your site instead of deciding that it’s too complicated to navigate. Check out the sites your developer built in the past to measure their expertise.
- Fast. Another central component of great healthcare online is that it’s quick. Visitors won’t bother sticking around if your website is slow, laggy, and takes away from their day. Ensure your developer builds fast sites that prioritize the patient’s time.
- User friendly. A surefire way to lose business? Building a healthcare website that confuses patients. Remember, some of your visitors will be elderly or may have visual impairments. That’s why it’s key to build sites that are user friendly in all aspects, from navigation and content, to overall accessibility.
- Impressive aesthetics. Take the time to scope out the aesthetics of your chosen developer’s past projects. How well do the colors complement each other? Do the images compete with the text in a jarring way? Does the site make you want to linger? Put yourself in your patients’ shoes to see if your chosen team can address their needs.
Security Compliance Know-How
Healthcare websites need to comply with a variety of security regulations to protect patient information. It’s standard law, but it’s an important nuance that can’t be overlooked. It takes tremendous technical expertise to ensure that your website meets all the criteria for security.
- HIPAA Compliance. This is the foundational set of laws that serve to protect sensitive patient data that healthcare providers handle on the daily. Your developer will need to know how to specifically set up your site to comply with HIPAA, usually by encrypting data at rest and in transit.
- HITECH. Another set of healthcare laws? Yep. This promotes the adoption and use of technology in the medical industry. It’s yet another security obstacle that your site will need to comply with. It’s important that you vet your developer to make sure they know exactly how to set up your site to meet HITECH regulations.
- ADA Compliance. The ADA has unique implications for healthcare web development. Your website needs to be accessible by any individual, regardless of any disability they may have. This means hearing impaired, site impaired, or patients from different cultural backgrounds must still be able to easily use your website.
- Encryption. As mentioned earlier, encrypting your data is the best way to start meeting security criteria. This technology locks data, making it readable only by a specific key. Encryption is a baseline practice that your web developer will need to be familiar with.
The Right Collaborative Ability
While the technical side of web development is essential for healthcare sites, interpersonal aspects are just as vital to take into account. If your development team isn’t great to work with, you’re setting yourself up for a miserable experience.
The best team will:
- Listen. Your developer needs to listen carefully to your goals and patient needs to build a site that your clients will love. They should be open to hearing new ideas and collaborating when possible.
- Be transparent. Another key characteristic of quality web development is transparency. At all times during the project, the team should be upfront about costs, deadlines, and their progress.
- Respond. Any great developer needs to be reachable and responsive. You can’t afford to waste time waiting for emails or calls back. The right team won’t leave you on hold or make you talk to machines.
- Have testimonials. Finally, you want your developer to be able to point to plenty of positive testimonials from happy customers attesting to a great experience. It’s a surefire way for you to build trust in the team, ensuring that they’ve done quality work in the past.
The Right Vision
The best team of experts will have a killer creative instinct, but will also understand the unique design expectations and constraints that come with a healthcare project. They should be able to put together a clear picture of what your site will look and feel like. A truly outstanding team will make sure that their vision matches yours.
A professional front end is the best way to inspire trust in your patients. Here’s what to to keep in mind:
- Typography. The font and size of your text on your website needs to be both readable and engaging. This will help make sure it’s accessible, but still sleek and fresh.
- Logo. Another critical element of aesthetics is your logo. It’s the face of your business, so make sure that it’s memorable and attractive, building rapport with clients.
- Images. Pictures are a great way to give your customers a look inside of your business to help build trust. Whether it be pictures of hardworking physicians or happy patients, make sure to choose the right images to bolster your healthcare website.
- Icons. Icons may be small, but they are powerful tools on any great healthcare website. They need to have an easily identifiable function while fitting in with the overall look of your site.
- Clean and simple. Overall, a healthcare website needs to be clutter-free and intuitive. You need to prioritize the user experience, making sure that there’s nothing that stands between your patients and you.
Top Notch Content
- Tone. The tone across your website needs to convey authority and expertise. It’s another way for patients to know you’re an expert and know what you’re doing.
- Language. Your choice of words on your healthcare website needs to be simple, yet effective. You can’t waste words on technical jargon that no one will understand. Use the right language to communicate clearly with your patients.
- SEO. The final component of building high quality content is SEO. Make sure your healthcare web developer understands the best practices to get your website up in the search rankings and to be easily discoverable by patients.
Your healthcare website also needs to value inclusivity. This means that even if a patient is visually impaired, or has some other disability, they can still access your website. It’s even a federal guideline that medical websites are designed in a way that anyone can use them; that’s what the ADA specifies.
In the spirit of inclusivity, ensure that your site is easily navigable. You don’t want patients getting confused with your website’s setup or overwhelmed with too much technical verbiage. The contact info, call to action, and appointment setup buttons should all be easily visible.
The pandemic has caused a massive shift in medicine thanks to technology. Telemedicine is how patients can meet with their doctors without ever having to come to the office. It’s important that your website includes key telemedicine features, making it easy to make appointments, have consultations, and obtain medication refills, from home.
The primary quality of any successful healthcare website? Great branding. You want to ensure that you convey your brand and vision clearly and effectively, without sacrificing ease of use. Some ways to maximize the branding on your site are through typography, imagery, and tone. You want your text to be readable and impactful, your images to be meaningful and informative, and your tone to be authoritative and upbeat.
It takes a skilled team of developers to balance all of these components and coordinate them to build a great website. There are so many branding elements to juggle, all while keeping tabs on other aspects of development like site functionality and data security. Make sure your healthcare web developers prioritize branding throughout the process. It’s your way of establishing a personality with your patient.
Is It Time to Develop Your Healthcare Website?
Designing a healthcare website from scratch is a big deal. It’s a time-consuming investment that requires the right amount of expertise, creativity, and dedication. Your website is what connects you with your patients, making it an essential avenue of generating new business while maintaining the customer base you’ve already built.
Buddy Web Design and Development is a team of expert developers who have a lot of experience in the healthcare field. We understand the nuances of healthcare web development and have the technical and creative prowess to build excellent sites. When you’re ready to talk about updating or building your healthcare website, check out our work here or get in touch via our online contact form.