What you need to know when deciding who to trust as your medical website host.
No matter how good your practice or your medical website may be, your distribution network is the final connection between your site and your audience. If you invest in the wrong web hosting company, all that your audience will see is 404 screens. It does not take very much to turn away a potential patient – having a bad website is an easy way to make sure that a customer never darkens your door again. Here are some of the most important things to know when you are deciding who to trust as your medical website host.
By most accounts, you have a maximum of 6 seconds to create a relationship with a potential first-time customer. If your web host slows down your loading time, you may spend this 6 seconds loading the site, and by the time it finally shows itself, the customer is gone without ever having read a word on it.
There are many aspects of hosting that go into creating a fast service. All that you really need to know is that speed is hooked into overall performance and security, meaning that a slow hosting service will usually have a lower standard of service for protection as well. Although a few seconds may not seem like much to you, it means the world to your client, and your proprietary intellectual property and customer data may be in danger as well. Make sure that any web hosting service that you choose is on par with the industry standard of website speed, and as the average load time accelerates, your web hosting service should be able to keep up.
Add automated uptime monitoring to a super fast service in your web hosting solution, and you gain the advantage of a site that guarantees the distribution of your website to your audience on a consistent basis.
Automated Virus Scanning, Correction and Firewall Functionality
One of the biggest advantages of cloud based hosting is the ability to upgrade your security measures in an automated way. Because you should not have to be an IT security expert and run a medical office at the same time, your web host should take care of the infrastructure, including security.
If you do not have the appropriate security for your website, there is no other feature that really matters. If you have a fast loading site with great CRM and a beautiful UI, it can still be completely destroyed at the random whims of a malicious user, an insider or a disgruntled patient. Automated virus scanning and correction will give you the updates that you need as they come out in real time. You will also gain the protection of automated scans that you do not have to remember to perform on your own. You will be able to focus your attention on your business rather than keeping up with a security schedule that you likely do not fully understand in the first place.
The right web host will also give you the added protection of a firewall. The right firewall will help to stop malicious users and Trojans in their tracks before they can even access your file structure and data stream.
HIPAA Compliance and Email Services
HIPAA guidelines are becoming more stringent by the year, and your practice needs to stay in compliance in order to keep from having problems with your revenue stream and your operations. Little did you know that the right web hosting provider can actually help you in this endeavor! This is the reason that you should consider a website hosting solution that is specific to the medical industry (read more about understanding healthcare when creating a website) – these servers come with an infrastructure that is defaulted to be compliant with the latest HIPAA standards. As those standards are updated, you will automatically get these updates in your user interface in the same way that your security is automatically updated.
HIPAA email services are a very important aspect of remaining in compliance with medical standards. If you get a great deal of your revenue from insurance, you will be able to automatically keep a record of communications with your patients so that you do not have to search for the records that will get you paid.
Secure Automated Backup
Having a good form of backup is very important for many reasons. HIPAA requires more internal scrutiny than ever, and keeping records in a secure backup location that is separated from the main data stream is a great way to create additional security for your office. There is nothing worse for your revenue stream than to lose the records of your former patients when a HIPAA audit comes down the pike.
Automated backup is an additional security measure that works very well because you do not have to keep up with it yourself. You can simply add records without having to worry about putting them in redundant locations and secure them at the same time.
A highly effective measure for both security and speed is moving specialized data into separate servers. If you have more than one site, you can and should store each site on a separate mini server to separate the data streams and speed up the performance on all sites. Additionally, you can reduce your security risk by separating your email server from your main site server. Attacks that come through your email will not enter your primary data stream, and since this is where a large percentage of phishing and viral attacks come from, you will protect yourself exponentially more powerfully than having everything on the same server.
Protection from Illegal Logins
You must also protect your business from internal security breaches. A medical web host with internal controls such as protections from illegal logins will not only deter your employees from trying to illegally access your office data, but you can keep records on any person who does, internal or external. You also have the ability to block logins completely from certain countries, so if you know that none of your business is from the Ukraine, you can completely shut down any phishing efforts from there.
Having a great host is the final step in creating a great connection between your website and your audience. It may take a longer time than you initially thought to find the right company, but that extra time will be more than worth it. Keep the above tips in mind to make the best and most informed decision for your online marketing campaign.