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How to Improve Your Hospital’s Website

Over the past few months we have conducted a research study in which we contacted 418 hospitals in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa between May 13, 2009-June 29, 2009. Our research has revealed many significant obstacles that prevent potential patients from contacting hospitals  and clinics for medical tourism. We have put together a list to help you improve your hospital’s website and increase the number of patients who will contact you for treatment.

Recommendations for Your Hospital’s Website:

Telephone Numbers Listed on Your Site

  • Include the telephone number for people abroad (ex: Local callers: 020-6048-100 International callers: +31 (0)20-6048-100)
  • Don’t forget to add your country code to the phone number on your site
  • Specify office hours in local time. Also in EST & GMT if possible
For example:

Telephone Recommendations

  • Automated operators should give English option early
  • Make sure that your operator speaks English
  • If possible offer 24/7 hotline for overseas calls. If you cannot then be sure to have a working answering machine that is checked regularly for follow-up
  • Make sure that your recorded announcements are clear

Email Recommendations

  • Site must have an email address. If you fear spamming here are some options:
    1. Create a separate email address just for the site
    2. Create a separate off-site address just for the site (yahoo, gmail)
    3. Write the address in words “at” “dot”
    4. Add a Captcha or other security feature
  • Email address should be easy to find
  • Email address should be clickable and immediately open either a form or blank email
  • It should be easy to copy and paste the email address
  • If you have an online form always give an option for direct email

English Site

  • If you are appealing to international patients for medical tourism, you must have an English site
  • Link to the English site should be easy to find on your Hospital’s main site

General Site Links

  • Ensure that internal links to branches, departments, alternative URL’s are working (not broken)

Online appointment

  • Give an option for patients to make appointments online

Proof reading

  • Have someone proof read the site for spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, etc. These little mistakes make the site appear unprofessional

Flash

  • Be careful how you use flash. Many people don’t have patience to wait
  • Always have an option to “skip” the flash - This option button should be clear

We hope that this information will help you to improve your hospital website and enable potential patients to contact you easily.

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