- Posted Monday March 9, 2020
How effective is your GP surgery website at engaging and informing your patients? With patients increasingly looking online for the information they need, we take a look at some of the key benefits of a great online presence for your practice.
Responsive and User-Friendly Designs
Does your website have clearly labelled sections, so visitors can instantly see where to go to book an appointment, order a prescription or register as a new patient? Ideally your GP Practice website should be clearly labelled, so patients can easily and intuitively see where they need to go for the information they need.
It’s becoming increasingly common for patients to use different devices to go online, with over 50% of web users viewing websites on a tablet or mobile phone. This means it’s vital to make sure your site is responsive - images and text on your website should automatically adjust to fit the size of the screen, whether it is landscape or portrait.
NHS England’s Accessibility Information Standard means Practices must also ensure any information shared with patients is in a format they can understand, and that they have appropriate support to help them communicate with the practice. Providers such as MSW place a strong emphasis on disability access and patient safety, meaning all users have an easy means of interacting with you and can receive equal access to your information.
The Benefits of Offering Online Services
How easy is it for your patients to interact with you online? If your website has NHS-syndicated health information and online forms, patients can access many of your services online instead of calling the surgery or booking an appointment. Self-serve options reduce the burden on your GP practice's appointment slots, phone lines and reception team.
NHS England list some of the key benefits of offering online services for patients and practices as improving communication between patients and practices, a reduced need for patients to travel, and reducing DNAs for GP practices where online services make it easier for patients to cancel appointments.
Another key benefit is reducing the administrative workload for your practice team thanks to cutting down on the need for patient phone calls and visits. This extra time can be used to support improvements to other aspects of care services that provide a better experience for patients – including for those who prefer, or need, to visit in person or contact you by phone.
Security is Key for Patients and Practices
When it comes to security, your GP Practice website should have a dedicated SSL certificate. This means it has a secure connection and it’s safe for patients to share their personal information on your website. This gives you and your patients confidence and trust in your practice’s online services.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has created a greater awareness around data protection for many people, so having an SSL certificate is a great way to help visitors recognise that your website is secure. Search engines such as Google also recognise when websites have SSL certificates and give them a boost in their search rankings, meaning your website is easier for patients to find.
My Surgery Website is committed to keeping your site safe, secure and up to date, providing professionally designed and supported websites for thousands of GP surgeries across the country. Get in touch to find out more today!