10/25

The 3 Things You Need For an Effective Direct-to-Patient Website

October 25, 2016

Direct-to-patient websites can be a helpful marketing strategy for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. However, you need more than a website that explains your treatment option or device to get the most out of the website.

Some patients may come to your site because they are looking for specific information about your product. However, some may have come across your site simply by looking for information about a particular condition. Those patients may not be ready for treatment just yet, or may not even need treatment at all.

By providing information that covers the entire continuum of care, your website can be a helpful source of information for patients. This, in turn, helps ensure that your physicians and surgeons see patients who are well-informed and ready for treatment. This is a win for everyone. Physicians win because they are seeing more of the right types of patients. Your company wins because your clients now see you as a valuable resource. Most importantly, the patients win because they are getting the information they need to make informed decisions.

To help patients throughout the entire continuum of care, your direct-to-patient website needs the following three things:

1. High-quality patient education

Last week, I talked about how patient education content is critical in helping to walk patients through the continuum of care. That content is helpful to provide to physicians and surgeons to keep patients informed so that the seek help from the appropriate healthcare provider when needed. For that reason, you should also include it on your direct-to-patient website.

Patients that visit your website are likely to be at different points in the continuum of care. Some may need your treatment, but it may not be the appropriate next step for others. Your patient education content helps to vet those patients so that your physicians and surgeons see more qualified, informed patients who are ready for treatment.

2. Care options that don’t involve your treatment

The ultimate goal for your company is to sell more of your devices or medications, but that doesn’t mean that your direct-to-patient website should be all about “selling” your treatment option to patients. There will still be plenty of patients who need your treatment option--that isn’t going to change. However, discussing other treatment options on your website positions your company as the good guys.

The real goal here is to help everyone be as healthy as possible. Some patients may not need your treatment, and that’s great. On the other hand, there are still many that will, either in the near or distant future. Discussing all of the options helps in two ways. First, it shows patients that your company is knowledgeable about the condition and is committed to helping patients get healthy. Second, it helps to ensure that your physician and surgeon clients are seeing the patients who can truly benefit from their expertise with your products.

3. A physician or surgeon finder

Once patients are educated and at the appropriate point in the continuum of care, many will be ready to seek treatment. If a patient has read the information on your website and is ready to move forward with treatment, you don’t want that patient to have to search far and wide for a physician. This is why your direct-to-patient website needs a physician or surgeon finder.

A physician or surgeon finder will help connect patients to physicians in their area who are experts in your treatment option. Physicians and surgeons that sign up to be included in your physician finder will have more opportunities to connect with the right patients, so many will be willing to have their information included.

A good physician finder allows patients to search for a physician by location. You should also include a drop-down that allows patients to select the mile radius they are willing to travel to see a physician. Depending on your device or medication, you might also add the option to search by specialty. These search features will help patients find the right physicians in the closest radius possible.

By including these three things on your direct-to-patient website, your company can help patients through the continuum of care. Your physicians and surgeons will be happy because your site will connect them with more of the right patients. These physicians and surgeons will see your company as a valuable resource, which strengthens your relationship with customers, helping you to sell more of your products in the long run. Most importantly, patients are happy because they receive the information they need to get the appropriate medical care.

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