MIAMI – With approximately 90 percent of Americans using the Internet, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, it’s no surprise that family physicians are relying on improved websites to keep and attract patients.
“Family physicians have become the most aggressive online marketers in the medical profession simply because of the competition and the localized nature of their practices,” said Todd Paton, president of Miami-based Paton Marketing (www.patonmarketing.com), one of the premier digital marketing agencies in the country. “In the past, a family physician’s waiting and diagnostic rooms were direct reflections of how a practice was viewed. Today that is still the case, but the same can be said about a website and its design and functionality.
“The website is in many cases the first impression a potential patient has to a practice. If the site is confusing, difficult to navigate, and doesn’t have proper information, it’s likely the prospective patient will go elsewhere. It is crucial that family physicians optimize their web presence with a clear, user-friendly and smooth functioning website experience.”
The common denominator for growing vibrant family practices is a quality website, according to Paton. In response to this rapidly growing trend, Paton Marketing is reaching out to family practices with educational programs regarding the importance of online marketing that starts with creating a strong foundation with a quality website.
For more information on these programs visit https://www.patonmarketing.com/.
Paton also cited a recent article in American Medical News that supports these findings, reporting that “Physicians who don’t manage their online presence run the risk of failing to attract new patients.”
Paton Marketing has assisted many family practices by adapting existing sites and creating new online marketing platforms.
“The foundation of a marketing program today is the website,” he said. “It sets the tone for the practice and then details services, physician and staff expertise, and accessibility.
“The other advantage is that a quality website allows physicians to see what people are saying about the practice, providing valuable feedback. Sites should also allow patients to access lab reports and make appointments. These patients must also have the confidence that records remain private and are compliant with HIPPA regulations. These are all critical as a new generation of Internet-savvy medical consumers seek quality healthcare.”
The family physician is the key link to quality care and the website must reflect this image.
“Everything starts with the family doctor,” said Paton. “Patients rely on them for caring for families, so the websites must reflect the culture and caring nature of the practice.”