Why Does a Physician’s Office Need a Website?


There’s no doubt that consumers are looking online for information – all kinds of information. Here are the reasons why every single physician’s office needs a website.

  1. Establish a digital presence for the practice, just as you have established a physical presence for your practice. Stake a claim that declares “I’m here!”
  2. Establish your medical authority. Provide customized health information to existing patients and future patients.
  3. Tell your story. Say hello and be real.
  4. Be the connector. Connect patients to information, resources, and to each other!
  5. Be a portal for your patients. Let them get their records, their lab tests, their prescriptions, and their appointments online, at a time convenient to them.
  6. Communicate quickly. Make announcements. React to health news when it happens.
  7. Give directions to your physical practice.
  8. Provide your patients the convenience of paying their bill online.

Posted in: Learn This: Technology Answers, Practice Marketing, Social Media

Leave a Comment (9) ↓


  1. Thoma M. Lee May 19, 2011

    You know that I’m a long time fan of your lists, Mary, so it’s a real pleasure for me to add to one.

    An “online presence” goes beyond a website and branches out into the many other facets of healthcare social media. However, even with a website, which is still the current hub of a provider’s online presence, having a strategy is critical. Your list addresses many of the things that need to be included in the foundation of such an online strategy for a medical practice. Some additional considerations may be …

    Blog, and blog often. Providing great content to your readers is terrific, but helping that content to be found by those searching means appealing to search engines such as Google. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your website dynamic. In other words … continually add content.

    Provide content that discusses “treatment options”. Many health related searches on the web are concerned with exploring what options are available for treatment of a known condition.

    Allow readers to comment on your blog posts. Some providers are leery of this, but doing so is a key component of the new, interactive web, and is expected by the new generation of patients who are seeking online information about their health concerns. Be ready to respond, but do so in a manner that doesn’t breach HIPAA privacy laws, or attempts to provide direct medical advice.

    I could go on, but baby steps for providers who are new to the web are just fine. Of course, the flip side is that ignoring the online sphere will soon prove to be regrettable at best. I always tell physicians that even if they didn’t directly create it, they already have an online presence via provider rating sites, Yelp.com, etc. What’s at stake is whether they control it … or not.

    • Mary Pat Whaley May 19, 2011

      Thanks, Thomas! This is an excellent addition.

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  2. Bevtek Solutions May 19, 2011

    You are both correct. A few caveats: ensure you have the resources to maintain your site. Develop a great site. Have it updated regularly. In my opinion, it is better not to have a site than have one that is out of date and not designed/maintained well. Blogs are great, if you have the time and resources. Websites can be your best friend and a valuable business partner: they can also be a nightmare. I did a survey awhile ago and asked what was the single most negative IT experience. An astonishing 90% of respondents replied building their website. I am always happy to help, if you’d like to ask me a question, critique your site, let me know.

    Great article, Mary Pat.

    • Mary Pat Whaley May 21, 2011

      Thanks, Bev! I enjoyed reviewing your website.

      Mary Pat

  3. Jennifer Dennard May 19, 2011

    This probably wraps into #3, but as a patient, I always appreciate seeing my doctor’s headshot and brief bio on his practice’s website, as well as his contact information.

    I would also love to see more physicians linking to their HealthGrades reviews on their practices’ websites. This would provide greater transparency about the level of care patients – especially new ones – can expect to receive.

  4. Sandra Clark May 20, 2011

    Physician practices that have a website give the appearance of being progressive. It shows initiative to providing the highest standards of communication and education to their patients. It expresses the doctor’s willingness to invest further into his practice, which typically leads to growth.

  5. Sam Uretsky June 21, 2011

    Having a web site gives physicians the opportunity to advise patients about the scope of their practice, which may help bring in business. Just as pharmaceutical companies advertise “ask your physician is *** is right for you”, a well designed web site can tell patients “Feel free to ask me about ***” when the subject is a potentially sensitive one. Ideally, the patient may have something that bothers them, often a minor cosmetic problem, that they are uncomfortable discussing while a physician may feel equally uncomfortable asking if the patient is bother by their spider veins. Discussing these topics on a web site is a tactful way of saying that the topic is open for discussion.

    • Mary Pat Whaley June 25, 2011

      Hi Sam,

      You make an excellent point. If a topic appears on a physician’s website, it gives the patient confidence that s/he can bring it up with the physician.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Best wishes,
      Mary Pat

  6. Lisa Stockwell July 6, 2011

    I’d add to your point #3, Be real, that a website can provide a way for a provider to communicate his or her personality and accessibility, which is a great way to build trust. Right now too few provider websites indicate any personality beyond a canned statement about compassion and care. A website (and blog) provides a great way for providers to demonstrate what makes their approach to healthcare different than the provider down the street.