Expert Blog: 8 Questions To Consider When Choosing Healthcare Web Hosting
Rahul Varshneya, Co-Founder and President of Arkenea
Choose a Web hosting provider This is a challenging task for a healthcare company. Today, for any healthcare company trying to grow and establish a position in the market, it is not enough just to have a working web application. Not only do you need a reliable web hosting provider that can function optimally, but also one that ensures adequate security and compliance with legal health data regulations.
According to a recent report, more than Half a billion dollars are lost every year to slow websites along with conversion rates, which can drop to around 7% as a result.
Powerful and reliable web hosting is an essential part of any successful website. When you are thinking of starting a new website for your healthcare business, not choosing the right service can have a disastrous impact on your entire business.
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the key questions healthcare entrepreneurs should ask themselves beforehand Choosing a web hosting service provider.
What kind of uptime score and server reliability does the provider offer?
If you are a healthcare provider, being available 24/7, regardless of whether you offer direct or outpatient care, is a must. Therefore, a web host that works 24/7 is very important for the smooth running of your business.
A web hosting service that runs over a stable network connection and a powerful server is what you should look out for. The ideal uptime is 99.5% and an uptime below 99% is considered highly unacceptable.
There are several ways to get information about a web host’s server reliability. One way to do this is to use server monitoring tools that allow you to keep track of your web hosting provider.
Is the provider’s service compatible with HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 states that any information consisting of medical data that could be used to identify an individual and that was created, disclosed, or used in the context of the provision of health care services, as “Protected Health Information” or PHI.
If your organization is a healthcare organization based outside of the United States, you must store, process, and transmit PHI in accordance with HIPAA rules and regulations. Your website needs to take this into account too important considerations for ensuring HIPAA compliance.
Standard web hosting providers do not have the necessary protection. Additionally, in most cases, standard web hosts don’t understand what these protections will need to get to the end. So, a best practice here is to make sure that the web hosting service you choose is being provided HIPAA compliant hosting.
What is the provider’s security policy?
Whether it is a patient’s first experience entering private medical information on your website or a repeat patient trying to renew their subscription, a safe healthcare website is vital to the same Maintain the level of professionalism and confidence you have in your office.
Security experts say place cyber criminals more emphasis on a person’s medical information as credit card information. Hence, you need to make sure that the hosting provider you choose has additional security measures in place to protect the information on your website. You need to inquire about and be familiar with your security policy.
One way to do this is to ask if the provider’s service includes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This is nothing more than a commonly used protective measure that encrypts data from your website on the hosting server for security and privacy.
Does the provider offer a range of plans? How easy is it to scale up / down?
Let’s face it, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to healthcare and every company will have different web hosting needs.
Check with the hosting providers you are shortlisting for the hosting environments they provide. Also, ask them for their guidelines in case you want to zoom in or out at a later date.
Contact the hosting provider who have a variety of options. That way, you can easily change your plans as your needs change. In addition, you no longer have to change providers in the future. Instead, you can update services according to your needs.
Can multiple domains be included in the plan?
As your healthcare business is expanding, it is possible that you already own or are expanding to more than one domain. If you choose a hosting provider that allows you to add multiple domains, you can put them all on the same plan. So try to do a domain capacity check before investing in a web hosting plan.
In most cases, hosting companies allow at least 25 add-on domains for an account, but some web hosts only allow one.
What is the vendor’s downtime?
Downtime can be defined as the amount of time that users cannot access a website.
Ask your hosting provider how many times they have faced downtime in the past. Your answer should ideally be “never”, but in most cases it won’t. Even the best hosting providers have experienced downtime on occasion.
Therefore, choose a hosting provider who has had minimal experience with such in the past. You can also look up reviews or ask questions about doubts on public forums.
What is the provider’s backup policy?
Each web hosting service has different protocols for data backup. Some web hosting providers back up more than once a day, others once a week.
Be sure to inquire about each provider’s backup policy. Then think about it and choose the one that best suits your particular needs. Also, make sure your databases are backed up, not just your files.
How responsive is the provider’s customer service and technical support?
To learn more about a specific vendor’s technical support and customer service, you can try contacting other customers they have connected to and learn about their experiences. At the same time, it’s important to remember that technical support should be available around the clock (including holidays) through the end of the carrier.
Also, ask about the average resolution time and response rate of each vendor that you have shortlisted before choosing the best one.
After all, the most important consideration would be to look for a provider who isn’t trying to convince you to dig a hole in your pocket. There are numerous custom web hosting plans available from some reputable providers in the market today.
Try to adapt the solution to your needs. Remember that in this case you are the customer and you should be the only one deciding what you need and how often you will need it.