The Coffey Blog

Forms and healthcare websites: A perfect match

Posted on: Monday, November 20, 2017

Jennifer Garza, Senior Digital Specialist, GAIC

Your website is the hub of your healthcare marketing program. It's the destination for your social media posts, it's the place Google sends searchers and it's the place where you collect your best healthcare content.

Your website can also be a powerful driver of marketing ROI. The more often you can persuade your readers to do something on your website—like sign up for a class or pay a bill—the easier it will be to track your progress.

One easy way to prompt your readers to take action: Use an online form.

3 benefits of using forms

1. Easier access for your readers. Visitors to your website expect to reach you online. And they want that outreach to come quickly and easily—or they'll go elsewhere. Forms help you gather information, so you can hand out information (like a class summary or a research document) in return. Forms can also make you seem available around the clock, as you'll accept and give out information whenever your site is live. In addition, forms give your readers a sense of safety. They'll receive instant validation that their data was sent—something that's not always possible over the phone or through an email.

2. Efficient data collection. Ever wanted to know who your dedicated readers are and where they live? Forms allow you to collect information just like this. Store and sort through this submitted data easily and efficiently, and use that data to help you serve this active audience with the healthcare content they want.

3. Streamlined processes. Look for routine, everyday actions that you could complete with a form. Class registrations, appointment scheduling, bill payments or facility tour scheduling could all be handled with forms, which could free up your time. And your patients might save time too, as they won't need to connect with you through a busy phone tree.

Common types of forms

The best forms are short and easy for anyone to fill out, as this case study demonstrates. But there's no one-size-fits-all form solution that will work for every issue your readers will encounter. Truly optimized forms are made to do one very specific thing—and they do that one thing very well. Below are a few examples of common forms, along with some ideas for best practices and customization.

  • Contact. Let your website visitors request information from your facility without picking up the phone or sending an email through a customized Contact Us form, giving readers the option to spell out their question or concern in detail. Make sure to respond to those messages in a timely manner, as significant delay can lead to frustration.
  • Job or volunteer application. Make it easy for people to join your team. Describe your openings in detail, then let interested readers immediately take the next step by submitting their information to your facility.
  • Class registration. Link these forms to your calendar events to let people reserve their spot online. Consider adding a way for attendees to pay online too, saving more time at the door.
  • Online donation. Offer an easy way for donors to support your organization by adding a link to your donation form on your hospital's foundation pages. You can also include fields for donors to make their gifts in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one.

What to look for in a form builder

There are several types of form builders on the market, and not all of them are created equal. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Patient privacy. Consumers are concerned about the safety of their data, and healthcare organizations have a responsibility to keep private information private (HIPAA, anyone?). So you'll need to check and then double-check that the data your readers submit is stored in a secure location. If you're collecting information that could fall under HIPAA guidelines, you'll need to check with your compliance officer before the form goes live, just to ensure that you've followed all the necessary steps.

Security. Many of the tasks you'll tackle with a form come with a payment component. Make sure that your form builder can accept payments—and that the solution you're using is PCI-compliant.

User experience. The rise of mobile means that more and more people are turning to their phones to take action online. So it's imperative that your form is responsive and can be filled out on any device, regardless of screen size.

Up your form game

Does this seem daunting? Don't worry, Coffey's CMS has a built-in form builder that's designed for healthcare organizations. It comes with a variety of pre-loaded forms that can be customized to suit your needs. It's also easy to use, so creating new forms or making changes to existing ones is a breeze. And Coffey's digital experts can help you navigate form building—or create new ones for you. Just contact us to get started!

Related reading

Healthcare website design in 2017: Top trends to watch
5 digital healthcare marketing trends for 2017
Hospital websites: 5 things you can do to make your services easy to find