Most dental practices today have a Web site, but are your staff and your patients using it effectively? Your Web site should be a useful tool to provide useful information to current patients and attract new patients. In addition, your Web site can also increase staff efficiencies and reduce administrative costs.
Your home page should be simple, and include a personal component. Reduce patients' anxiety by allowing them to connect on a personal level to both the dentist and hygiene staff, as well as to administrative staff members. Pictures and professional profiles are helpful to new patients conducting research. They also keep existing clients informed and "connected" to the practice.
Other content to include on your Web site:
Make sure your staff and patients know that you have a Web site. Include your Web site address on your business cards, stationary and invoices. Your front desk staff should collect patient e-mail addresses for future communications, appointment reminders, and service offerings.
Your Web site should have a section for individuals and patients to leave a message (you should get a new e-mail address for this feature, and instruct patients not to include protected health information in e-mail messages). Appoint a responsible staff member to check the Web site for messages once or twice a day and to take the time to respond.
Your web site, if optimally designed and maintained, will set your dental practice apart from others, attract new patients, and create a useful service and management tool for both patients and staff.
This article appeared in the July 2010 issue of Delta Dental Newsletter.