Use Your Web Site to Connect with Patients, Referring Docs

January 6, 2011
Richard Woodcock, MD

Physicians are not always the first adopters of new technology, and the use of Web content is no exception. Of course, most of our business has no direct correlation with information from the Web, but that does not mean that having a Web site is not a great addition to the practice.

Physicians are not always the first adopters of new technology, and the use of Web content is no exception. Of course, most of our business has no direct correlation with information from the Web, but that does not mean that having a Web site is not a great addition to the practice. 

Lately it has become clear that it’s not just written content that is essential. We need to understand what audience we are catering to. While many of us think in terms of written content like what procedures we perform and how they work, this is largely the job of the facilities’ Web site. The practice’s site should be tailored to referring MDs and patients, and offer an opportunity to “meet” the radiologists.

Patients are increasingly Web savvy. Not only do they go online for education, they look for information about providers as well. Many patients today get their own reports and would like to know who you are to create a personal connection. This can be valuable in that patients may become more comfortable with you, your group, and the facility simply by having a friendly face to associate with you.

Providers too may look online to familiarize themselves with you. We practice in an era where many clinicians don’t visit the reading room as they have access to their images elsewhere. Being able to put a face with the voice or report they hear or see may be a great connection for you.

Put photos of all the radiologists on your site, and add some biographical data. Make sure the photos are clear, friendly, and professional. Consider adding interactive content, like a short video clip - either a formal introduction or perhaps commentary on favored procedures.

These easy, albeit brief, opportunities to communicate with patients and referring MDs may go a long way in improving their familiarity and comfort with your services.

Dr. Woodcock is a graduate of Duke University and attended the University of Virginia (UVa) School of Medicine. He completed his Diagnostic Radiology residency at UVa and completed a fellowship in Neuroradiology at Emory University. Dr. Woodcock was an Assistant Professor of Radiology in the Emory University hospital system for 8 years prior to joining Atlanta Radiology Consultants (ARC). He is currently medical director for MRI at St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta. He serves as a member of ARCs executive board, and is ARCs executive officer for finance. He may be reached at rjwatlrad@gmail.com.

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