What Are Best Practices for Physician Directories?

June 1, 2014

Ask The Expert with Mark S. Gothberg

Mark-GothbergThere 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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