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Sample Web Site Map for a Physician Practice
Jeff Pasternack

Many physicians are in the process of exploring the various avenues for building a web site for their practice. One significant question has to do with the offerings of WebMD, Medem and other sites who offer to build and host your site for free. At first blush, this appears to be an attractive offer. However, many of these sites often lack the customization in graphics and content that makes your practice's web site different.

Here's a quick test. Which web address (also known as "domain name") is easier to remember: or If you selected the second choice, then you recognize that it is better to have a shorter domain name. With so many web addresses being bandied about, the more intuitive the domain name, the better. Just as you have your own logo and practice identity, so it should be with your web site.

During this time of uncertainty with respect to how HIPPA will be enforced, practices should refrain from collecting patient information on their web site. In the event that any information is collected, a privacy policy should be prominently displayed on the web site and you should check with a health care attorney who has Internet experience.

With HIPPA and liability in mind, the following site map is an example of what a physician might choose to display online. Site maps vary depending on what information is to be displayed and this site map may not be suitable for all practices.

Factors that drive pricing are functionality and graphic design. Functionality refers to things like a graphical calendar or site tracking software. Graphic design refers to the artistic talent of the designer in developing a look and feel that is representative of your practice.

--Viewable in 800x600 resolution
--Flat template with caching menu, no frames
--Vertical and horizontal menus
--CGI Site Tracking Software
An (H) represents a button on the horizontal menu and a (V) represents a button on the vertical menu.

*This section will have frequently asked questions about the practice and services offered.
Participating Insurers (V)
*A list of insurance companies that the practice participates will be here. Patient Forms (V)
*Patients will be able to click on links to the following forms and print them from the web. Patients should not be able to download them.
--New Patient Form
--Financial Responsibility
Practice Philosophy (V) *This section will communicate the value and belief system of the practice.
The Staff (V)
*Photos and biographies are perfect for this section of the site.
Our Center (V)
*This page will have images of the office and birth center along with descriptive text.
Directions (V)
*This section will have a map and directions from various main roads as well as a link to MapQuest so that they can get explicit driving directions.
Services (4 H)
These buttons may be on a horizontal menu bar and each would lead to text about each service, for example: Obstetrics, Gynecology, Family Planning and Education

By and large, as long as the web design company you select has a good reputation in your community and you have reasonable expectations for what your web site can and cannot deliver, your web site should be a valuable addition to your practice.

Jeff Pasternack is the president of Dynamic Consulting Group, a franchise partner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and author of the TechnoPeasant Review.
If you have questions or comments about this column, please write to him at