Doctors can count on Apex Biologix to supply the PRP kits, stem cell kits, and other equipment they need to offer regenerative medicine procedures. They can sign up for training through Apex’s sister company, the American Regenerative Medicine Institute. But the two companies can only do so much. At the end of the day, the doctor has to reach out to his or her own patients. The internet is one of the best ways to do so.
That leads to the following question: doctors, is your website cutting it? Can current and prospective patients go to it and learn enough about stem cell and PRP procedures to make an informed decision as to whether they should talk to you about them or not? If not, your website isn’t doing its job.
Low Information Scores
The quality of information on a doctor’s website may not seem all that important above and beyond office hours. And yet, that same website is quite often the first introduction a prospective patient experiences when looking for a new doctor. This is especially true among people looking for physicians that provide PRP or stem cell injections.
Unfortunately, a study recently published by Osteoarthritis and Cartilage shows that regenerative medicine doctors are not offering nearly enough information on their websites. The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard University specifically looking to measure the quality of online information relating to osteoarthritis.
What the Study Showed
The most important aspect of the research was clear evidence that shows just how “poorly physician websites communicate evidence-based medical information,” according to Orthopedics This Week’s Elizabeth Hofheinz. The study further concluded that:
- The biggest information gaps exist in countries where the dominant language is something other than English.
- Non-U.S. websites were overwhelmed by U.S. websites when searching in English-speaking countries other than the U.S.
- The quality of information on Mexican websites was exceptional; equaling that of the U.S.
Researchers concluded from this portion of the study that English language websites provide the bulk of regenerative medicine information found around the world. Where English is not the dominant language in a country, sites offering regenerative medicine information are simply translations of existing English sites.
Another portion of the study showed the following:
- Doctors who do provide regenerative medicine information infrequently include citations.
- Websites with a focus on high quality content score better.
These two findings actually correlate with one another. High quality content includes reliable citations to other sources. Citing sources is a measure of quality, so we would expect sites with ample citations to score better. The surprising thing is how infrequently doctor websites cite outside sources.
What It All Means
You can pick up your own copy of the August 2018 edition of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage if you want to read the report in detail. If not, there are still some important takeaways you can glean from this article. First, physician websites do not perform as well as other kinds of commercial websites. Secondly, lower-than-expected website performance is almost always the result of poor quality.
Quality affects more than just those patients who visit your website. It also affects how your site performs in organic searches. A website that lacks good, quality content will be so far down in search engine results that patients will never find it. So instead of learning what they want to know about regenerative medicine from a physician’s site, they are learning about it on generic medical and news sites.
How is your website doing? If it’s lacking quality information, it is probably not doing so well.