Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit clinic which helps provide unique care to every individual patient through education, research, and practice. Mayo Clinic’s website provides services such as online office visits, secure messages, medical records, upcoming appointments, online bill pay, prescription refills, and registration updates.
Mayo Clinic employs physicians, students, scientists and allied health personnel in order to follow the Clinic’s philosophy of “the patient comes first” as one of the largest clinics with over 1,700 medical doctors achieving high quality at a low cost (1). Many people have begun venturing online to self-manage their health and are looking for relevant health information to help make decisions. The website is geared towards individuals trying to find out encyclopedic information regarding medical problems.
Unlike other medical sites, Mayo Clinic writes all of the company’s own material. Mayo Clinic uses terms which are conversational, precise, straight forward, and sympathetic (2). Mayo Clinic aims to help the customer understand each medical term and writes the material in words that the customer can understand. Mayo Clinic’s website also offers opportunities to check appointments, pay bills, and refill prescriptions over the Internet. Customers do not have to leave home in order to gain information or schedule appointments because these tasks can all be done online.
The Mayo Clinic has locations in three different states and is one of the best hospitals in the country however due to the limited locations the clinic developed the website to be more available to patients and the general public who may have questions. By creating the website, Mayo Clinic can be of help to many customers who are not within a reasonable range of any of the three clinics. Although the website does not derive revenue for the business because all information provided is free of charge, the information is backed my research and practice by very experienced medical doctors.
Mayo Clinic has gained popularity from the health industry by providing simplistic explanations however several other health websites are becoming a close threat. The Mayo Clinic medical directory is easy to use and provides up to date information on diseases and symptoms put together by top notch MD’s on the editorial staff (3). These highly notable disease indexes landed the website a spot in Time Magazine’s “50 Best Websites 2010”. Mayo Clinic’s original material sets the company apart from other encyclopedic websites like WebMD and Healthline which do not have the simplistic navigation Mayo Clinic offers(4,5).
WebMD and Healthline do not offer easy to understand explanations for the diseases listed. Mayo Clinic utilizes over 40% of the company’s resources for research rather than just medical practice. The teams of doctors that are putting together the information on the website are highly skilled in many different areas of medical study. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization and therefore thrives on contributions, grants, and endowments from benefactors around the country (7). Due to this factor the company cannot gain any revenue from the website.
All information and service the website provides is free of charge. This is a greats source of business in order to provide help at little to no cost, however if the company used a advertising revenue model, Mayo Clinic could gain profits to build more locations across the country which would bring in more business and availability to patients. Other websites, such as WebMD, have sponsorship agreements which give them more money to apply to medical research in medications, medical devices, therapies, and other products.
Mayo Clinic could utilize these sponsorship sources to further the company’s research greatly. Mayo Clinic differs from other hospitals by specializing in hard to treat diseases and puts forth extra research in treating diseases which have gone undiagnosed and un-treated (8). Mayo Clinic has branded and marketed the company as a patient-first hospital. Mayo Clinic effectively reached out to patients and the general public by promoting the tagline, “The needs of the Patient always come first”.
The company has created a positive image and therefore awards such as Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”, give the Mayo Clinic free positive advertising to the entire country (7). Mayo Clinic uses this in the market strategy; they also have well established themselves on the internet that if a person were to search “medical advice” on Google, Mayo Clinic is one the first websites to pop-up on the search results. The Mayo Clinic website has established the company’s image very well, as a not-for-profit company the Mayo Clinic is ranked the 2nd best hospital in the Country.
The thorough and extensive research Mayo Clinic utilizes is far more reader-friendly than competitors. Mayo Clinic could improve on the revenue flow the company has, putting advertisements on the website would help medical suppliers and also help raise even more funds for the company. As of now Mayo Clinic is ahead of the pack in research, practice, and medicine but they must keep a positive image in order to retain the patients the company has treated. The website is a great source for practical medical questions and advice. 2 Paul S.