7 Critical Considerations While Undertaking Website Design For Hospitals

Hospital’s marketing strategy starts with a good website, followed by social media presence. User-friendliness and serene outlook are the first steps towards building an engaging website design for hospital.

Confusion starts when there’s plenty of information to include, but cannot be overwhelming to the users. That’s when the design component steps in to give a creative touch while developing a hospital website.

Here are top 7 considerations to note while designing for a hospital website.

1. Partnering With a Healthcare Software Development Company

One of the most essential stipulations while getting your healthcare website developed is having a website development partner with a thorough understanding of all the regulations involving healthcare data. Experienced healthcare website developers like Arkenea are well versed ePHI and HIPAA compliance which are the primary requirements while choosing a healthcare software development company.

When starting with website design for hospital, ensure that the development partner has protocols for information security, risk mitigation, and disaster recovery plans to safeguard vital medical information. Furthermore, ascertain that healthcare development partner operates with procedures and policies that meet your hospitals’ standards.

Healthcare website or software must meet interoperability abilities when it comes to EHR (Electronic Health Records) and understand HL7 standards that regulate with interoperability in health systems. In addition to this, assure that the healthcare development company has experience in handling projects for the healthcare industry.

2. Clear Navigation

Website navigation is one of the key aspects to consider in designing as it helps visitors to find web form and flow seamlessly from one page to the next. To provide clear navigation to visitors for surging conversion rates, keep it simple. An overly complexed or cluttered navigation creates confusion, thus causing users to exit from site.

Approach is to restrict the navigation menu to seven links and avoid using dropdown menus. Consistent navigation increases users ability to locate information quickly. Furthermore, make navigation visible, which otherwise loses its visibility due to in favor of creative and edgy design layout. For hospitals, serene and professional designs that render authority in the field is recommended.

Consider placing the main menu option at the top right corner; include contrast for links and CTAs (Call to Action). Ensure that navigation is responsive by creating large links and tightening menu option to fit mobile screens.

3. Accessibility

Website accessibility is the extent to which disabled individuals can use it. When starting with website design for hospitals, ensure that that people falling in this category are included. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), prohibits organizations and businesses from discriminating on the basis of disability.

A hospital website is successful by making it accessible to all and improves user experience as well. The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), defines accessibility based on the following four features –

1. Operable: Smooth functioning of site without confusions and complex interactions.

2. Perceivable: Consuming website content in varied ways – video/audio/written.

3. Robust: Website is understood by numerous devices such as screen readers.

4. Understandable: Grasping UI of the site and information on the site by a user.

Each of these principals have either A, AA, or AAA ratings, with A being the minimum requirement for building an accessible site.

Checklist for creating an accessible hospital website is –

1. High Color Contrast: Color contrast assures that all elements on the website are visible, this is recommended for individuals with poor eyesight and color blindness.

2. Keyboard Navigation: Users can navigate without a mouse, including links and pages. Test by visiting the front end of the website and navigating using the Tab key.

3. Alt Text For Images: Provide an alternative text that describes the images, so this way users who are visually impaired can understand trough dictation software.

4. Heading Hierarchies: Organizing content into sections is easier to read, increases website’s accessibility, and is beneficial for users with cognitive disabilities to read.

Hospitals can check websites for accessibility by installing a browser extension like ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications Extension) or to use an online accessibility checker such as WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.

4. Mobile Optimized Design

Mobile optimization increases views on pages as compared to a desktop version, and by minimizing visual clutter on website, visitors can focus on the essential elements such as forms, CTA, posts, and contact data.

To check for mobile optimization following the responsive design best practices when getting website designed for hospital is a  must. Access site through tablet or a phone and analyze how it looks. Based on this, make use of Google’s mobile friendly tool to design and develop hospital website as per mobile standards. Furthermore, consider incorporating custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) to make a site mobile-friendly.

CSS implements ‘media query’ ranges that tell browsers when to load layouts for a page as per size of the screen being used. Pop-ups are an effective method grab user’s attention and generate leads, however they can be annoying as well.

On a small screen space, pop-ups appear more disruptive as compared to the desktop version of the site. As per Google rules, pop-ups must be non-obstructive, easy to close, and don’t apply for logins/cookie notices/GDPR consent notices etc.

5. Compliance

Two types of compliance are vital while developing a hospital website – ADA compliance (which is discussed in the accessibility sub-point) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance. While developing a HIPAA compliant hospital website design consider adhering to the following components –

1. SSL Protection: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provides server authentication, client authentication, and encrypted interactions, thus when user logins, all data is safe and encrypted all the time.

2. Data Encryption: ePHI is converted into unreadable text, thus making it secure and accessible only to the authorized users. This safeguards data during data breach, natural calamity, or data theft.

3. HIPAA – Compliant Web Hosting: Web host is the first line of defense against breaches and threats, therefore it requires to have HIPAA practices in place for regular updates and threats.

4. Online Forms: HIPAA compliant online forms assures that ePHI is gathered safely through hospital websites. Consider building customized online forms for addressing patients needs such as consent forms, appointments, payments, and medical details.

5. Compliance Training: Provide training to all hospital staff – medical and non-medical to keep everyone of the same page of ePHI security, consequences of HIPAA violations, and security protocols.

6. Interactive Website

Interactive hospital websites helps to keep you ahead of the competition, as an engaging design attracts more users. Hospital websites are designed with a goal in mind – increasing appointments or inquiries.

By building an interactive design, hospitals can surge patient engagement and eventually reach their goal as well. Key ways in which a website can be made interactive are –

1. Provide Patient Portal: Allow patients to edit contact details, medical insurance details, and monitor health vitals, instead of hospital staff performing these duties.

2. CTA Buttons: Precisely placed CTA buttons lets patients take the desired action. Consider opting for buttons for referrals, booking appointments, and filling prescriptions for a seamless user experience.

3. Interactive Forms: Allow patients to fill essential medical data and patient feedback through online forms; use toggle buttons to make it interesting.

7. Highlight Treatment Plans

Brief description on healthcare education, medical best practices, areas of specialization by physicians, and personal titbits such as hobbies adds value to a hospital website. Sharing video clips of treatment demonstrations and procedures on hospital websites helps to build trust amongst doctor and patients.

In addition to this, consider giving a brief description about innovative medical treatments offered by the hospitals to build a competitive edge over others.

Sharing photos of doctors adds a personal touch as patients are then aware who is going to treat them. Furthermore, videos and slideshows humanizes a hospital website design to bring in authenticity to it.

Looking for development company for creating a hospital website for your organization, just get in touch with Arkenea – a top – rated company in the field of healthcare software development.