Health System Provider Directories
Remember: One of the main missions for patients, caregivers, and referring providers who come to a healthcare organization’s website is to find a doctor. This means a provider directory is one of the most significant, important, non-negotiable, mission-critical investments a healthcare organization can make.
It’s the digital equivalent of leading a patient to your front door.
When providers in your healthcare organization refer patients to external providers because they don’t know about their own colleagues.
When your healthcare organization’s providers can learn about colleagues who offer services their patients need and stop referring outside of your health system.
Patients Rely On Provider Directories
First-time patients may start their search for a new healthcare provider by asking Google or their friends. But at some point, they’re going to come to your website for more information. That’s where your provider directory comes in.
If their search starts at a search engine, you want your providers’ bio from the directory to rank first, not their listing on Zocdoc or Healthgrades.
That means the content in your provider directory has to be informative and help people make decisions. Dry rundowns of degrees, credentials, and publications are not enough.
Does Your Healthcare Organization Need A Provider Directory Overhaul?
If your provider directory is still formatted as a PDF — and not searchable — that’s an obvious sign that it’s time for an overhaul. But there are other not-so-obvious signs that your provider directory is in need of a makeover:
- Your physician bios are pretty much blank, except for a thumbnail photo and a list of credentials
- There is no call to action to make an appointment to connect with that provider
- There are no links to relevant pages about their services or other content about that provider, such as blog posts, news articles, etc.
- The physician’s practice location and contact info are not listed or outdated
But, My Healthcare Organization Has Thousands Of Providers …
This is a common objection that healthcare organizations use to justify ignoring their provider directories. There are too many providers, and this is too much work.
Here’s a question: If your organization has that many providers, isn’t that all the more reason to make finding one easier for your prospective patients and referring providers? Leaving your audiences to go on a wild search for your providers because you don’t want to organize a directory is defaulting to a poor user experience.
Where Do You Start If Your Healthcare Organization Needs A Provider Directory Overhaul?
Before revamping your provider directory, make sure you ask yourself the following questions about your audience:
- Who uses our provider directory? Who are our audiences?
- How do they use our provider directory? Do they print them for events or use it like a dating app to match their preferences?
- What questions do they want answered when they look at a provider’s bio? Referring providers may want your providers’ menu of services and credentials, while prospective patients may want a video of the provider.
Should You Outsource The Provider Directory?
There is also an organization-wide conversation you should have before you start shopping for an agency to work with on your provider directory. Changes to an existing provider directory should reflect the changes needed in your healthcare organization.
- Should the provider directory include advanced practice nurses and nurse practitioners?
- Should affiliated physicians be listed in addition to employed physicians?
- How should results be ordered? Is alphabetical order the best way to list results?
- How can your organization’s physician relations team smoothly integrate the provider directory into their outreach efforts?
What Factors Into The Cost Of A Provider Directory?
Ask yourself and other stakeholders at your organization:
- How quickly do you want to launch the new directory? An aggressive timeline may increase the cost.
- Does some department, such as medical staffing or human resources, have an accurate reliable list or database that contains at least basic information about providers? If the answer is yes, it often means the cost to create the directory is less. If an agency has to build it from scratch, it can cost more.
- Will updating an existing directory require adding new fields of information to the current database? If so, that will cost more.
- What types of media do you want incorporated into the directory? A video physician bio is significantly more engaging than a static photo, but it’s also pricier.
- Do you have the funds to keep the directory up-to-date? After the directory is launched, it needs to be updated. For instance, if a physician receives publicity for an article they’ve published, should it be reflected on the physician bio? This ongoing maintenance is a worthwhile investment.
Why Choose CareContent?
As a health system, your website may be the first stop on a patient’s road to learning about health and medicine — and finding the provider who can best meet their needs. That gives you the responsibility to have an up-to-date provider directory with reliable, understandable, and comprehensive content. Your provider directory also needs to offer the right mix of content for both patients and referring providers.
We’re With You From The Start
The process of provider directory overhaul can seem overwhelming, but we will be with you every step of the way.
Every organization has its own goals, so we customize the process to best serve your health system’s needs.
We can do this by:
- Building your provider directory as a separate site that can then be integrated into your current website
- Building your provider directory directly into your current website using a WordPress add-on
- Incorporating provider bios — including videos — into the directory to make the content more engaging and helpful for patients
- Offering ongoing maintenance services to keep your provider directory up-to-date
We’re Experts At What We Do
Many companies offer provider directory services. So, why should you choose CareContent?
Our team can not only handle redesigning and building the provider directory, but we also write the content. That’s the most important aspect of any provider directory, yet many of our competitors leave that to the health system’s marketing team. Our team has a desire to craft comprehensive, educational, and engaging content about your providers and how their expertise can help patients.
Contact us to discuss whether the CareContent team is the right fit to help your health system overhaul the provider directory with engaging content and precise functionality.