What Are Best Practices for Physician Directories?
Ask The Expert with Mark S. Gothberg
There is no more important feature on a healthcare organization’s website than its doctor directory. This directory is often the critical first step for consumers to begin a relationship with a physician and develop a long-term association with a health system. For the millions of newly insured Americans under the Accountable Care Act, finding the right doctor for their needs is a top priority; an online search and communications tool is ideally suited for this task.
I’ve highlighted and discussed top find-a-doctor tools in this publication for many years, and top directories have been recognized in the annual eHealthcare Leadership Awards. But rather than just enumerate this information, I thought it would be interesting to offer insights from four digital executives who have found great success with their directories. In discussions with them, it was interesting to find that they agreed on most aspects of what constitutes a strong directory. However, their views on the “search function” varied considerably, suggesting that what works in one market or organization may not work quite as well in a different situation.
UC San Diego Health System
In the highly competitive San Diego market, traffic to this organization’s physician directory represents 35 percent of total site traffic, up from 25 percent a year ago and substantially higher than in previous years, says Tim Ciraolo, director of Web operations. It took the Web team several years to get to this strong position.
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