Key Use Cases for Healthcare Website Search

February 23, 2023

Tom Humbarger


5 min. read

In a recent blog post on healthcare website search best practices, we explored why search on healthcare websites is so important to digital transformation projects and outlined some best practices that can help to significantly improve the site search experience for healthcare websites. This post expands on the best practices topic by describing the top healthcare website use cases.

Challenges with Healthcare Use Cases

Healthcare websites are usually informational only which means they don’t have complicated e-commerce requirements and don’t need the full-blown, complex feature set offered with many site search solutions. The digital transformation projects for healthcare providers often get bogged down with thinking that the only way to improve search experience is with a massive DXP-platform solution approach with a long timeline and an expensive implementation cycle. We believe we have a better option. We’ve outlined the most common healthcare use cases below to provide a guideline for how to think about your healthcare website’s site search needs, and to help your project stay focused on the most important capabilities you’ll need to improve the search experience on your healthcare website – and accelerate the pace of improvement.

Researching Health and Wellness Topics

Hospitals, medical associations, health & wellness organizations and government health departments produce articles, podcasts and videos about new health research, information for the public on staying healthy and more. In order for that content to be seen, the organizations need to make sure it is findable on their websites.
Healthcare Use Cases - Health and Wellness
One key best practice is to ensure that common medical phrases are mapped to the medical terminology used by healthcare professionals. This means mapping medical terminology or setting up search synonyms for common phrases people search for. For example, most visitors would search for “heart attack” and not “myocardial infarctions.” Additionally, if you have multiple sources of information, such as blogs, articles, PDFs, and research papers, etc., include filters to help searchers easily narrow their search.

Finding a Doctor

As mentioned in the Healthcare Website Search Best Practices post, a study from Solutionreach mentioned that more than 40 percent of Millennials and Generation X are likely to switch physicians in the next few years. Baby boomers are entering the phase of their life where finding specialists to treat their conditions is a main driver of website searches. Having robust Find a Doctor search will get these users to a list of doctors who meet their needs whether by proximity to their home or office, gender, experience specializations or symptoms and insurance plans accepted for treatment.
Healthcare Website Use Cases - Find a Doctor
The results should include a list of providers who match the search along with profile information, specialties and services offered, educational background and biography and ratings.

Locating Provider Forms and Insurance Forms

Patients get frustrated and waste time when they can’t find the insurance forms they need to submit for their claims. Healthcare financial personnel spend time acting as traffic cops when the wrong forms are submitted, and they need to return them to the users. 

Healthcare providers with excellent website search can eliminate frustrations by enhancing the findability of forms and using the related searches feature to suggest similar or related forms.

Healthcare Website Use Cases - Find a Form

Another best practice is to set up filtering by geography. For example, you want to make sure that someone who lives in Colorado will not submit the form meant for California residents

Finding a Location for Treatment or Service

Finding a convenient location to get treatment, especially a specialized service, is another frequent reason consumers visit a healthcare website. You want to make it easy for your users by following best practices for letting them choose the type of facility and searching by location, city or zip code.

Healthcare Website Use Cases - Find a Location

After setting up the site search, website owners must continue to monitor analytics and refine the search experience. This way, they can see what consumers are searching for and are unable to find; then they can use this information to make the forms easier to find.

Continually Improving the Search Experience

In the world of healthcare, patient and consumer needs are dynamic and constantly evolving which means that you need to stay on top of what is being searched and what content is resonating with your audiences. This final use case ties together the situations mentioned above and highlights how important it is to continuously monitor what’s happening with site search.

The process for improving search never ends. After initially setting up the site search, website owners must regularly review their site search analytics and use the insights to refine the search experience. Looking at the analytics can provide information about what consumers are searching for, what content they are clicking on and how hard it was for them to find it. 

For example, the search results for health and wellness topics are going to change as new articles and content is developed. Using analytics, you can see what content is resonating with your audience, explore what search terms are important and adjust your content strategy to match. Perhaps, users are using search terms that don’t match up with your content and you may need to use synonyms to help them find the information they seek. You may also want to promote specific content to meet changing business needs or highlight critical health information.

Patient forms are constantly getting revised, and you want to ensure that your users can easily find the most up-to-date forms. Using search analytics will help you identify which forms are most popular which help your team ensure that these forms can be easily found. In a similar way, your medical professionals will want to know about popular search terms so they can update their profiles with the key search terms to get more visibility. 

See how SearchStax Studio elevates the search experience with better site search for healthcare providers. Schedule a product demo with our search experts to get an evaluation of search on your current website, see how search can be improved and discover how analytics and easy-to-use tools can drive the best practices to quickly optimize the search experience.

By Tom Humbarger

Senior Product Marketing Manager

“…healthcare providers often get bogged down with thinking that the only way to improve search experience is with a massive DXP-platform solution approach...”

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About the Author

By Tom Humbarger

Senior Product Marketing Manager

February 23, 2023

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