This is my third and final (for now) post on WordPress plugins.
In my first post, I went over the basics of WordPress and how you can use plugins to enhance your website. In my second post, I gave you a list of all the medical and health care plugins I have found.
To round out my list of useful plugins, in this post I am going to give you a list of medical hacks. These are plugins that are not specifically made for medical or healthcare websites, but they can be adapted quite nicely. They can even save you some time and money.
To be effective, your website needs to be understandable to the average patient. To do that, you have to translate a lot of medical jargon into lay terms. An ideal way to do this is to create condition and treatment pages and then link to those whenever you use a complex medical term. That can be time-consuming and/or expensive if you hire out, though.
Instead, you can use a glossary plugin. These allow you to type in simple definitions that will pop up when your jargon word appears.
In my first post on WordPress, I recommended a plugin called Explanatory Dictionary. It is easy to customize and looks great. Here are two others I have found to check out if that one doesn’t suit your needs.
Unlike your medical website, your practice exists in the real world. You may even have more than one location and people need to know how to get to you.
With a plugin like the one below, you can embed an interactive map to your office(s), making it easy as pie to find you. Sure beats hours of PhotoShop and clunky coding (so I’ve heard…).
3. Class Schedule
Many practices are beginning to incorporate preventive wellness programs into their care model. These include classes on nutrition, exercise classes, and blood pressure screenings.
Whether you offer these as a public service or as part of a subscription package, it is a good idea to have these events front and center on your website.
Here are two plugins that allow you to do just that.
You may still be using the paper scheduling book and the phone to set up appointments, but the pressure is on to go digital.
Scheduling is often a feature that comes with electronic medical record software, like WebPT. If you are not quite there yet, the feature is also widely available as a plugin. Here are a few.
A word of caution here: Make sure you run the plugin by your compliance officer to ensure you do not violate any patient privacy laws by using it.
5. Medical News
Do you want your patients coming to your website to see the latest in health news? If you do you can use one of these plugins to provide a news feed on your website. Both plugins can be filtered to show the news most relevant to you and your patients.
I am going to stick in another word of caution here: While you can set up parameters and sources for the news feed to some extent, you don’t have complete control and some let’s say not-so-evidence-based info can, and probably will, sneak through.
Also, please tell us if you have hacked any WordPress plugins yourself. We’d love to hear about them.