White River Health System engaged Doctor.com in 2019 to implement a listings and reputation management solution. With listings fully implemented and the organization’s digital presence on the rise, White River Health System is on the right track toward providing an improved online experience for patients seeking care.
Building a winning, consumer-friendly digital presence through listings has been a critical first step to ensuring a smooth patient journey. However, a successful outcome of attracting patients to White River encompasses more than listings management. The next logical step is to turn our focus to growing reputation. As you will discover below, reviews have an enormous impact on consumer decision-making. They spark curiosity, boost site traffic, encourage longer profile visits, provide comforting social proof about the quality of care, and ultimately drive business to your practice. To spur more traffic to your improved, patient-friendly profiles, actions must be taken now to generate more patient feedback.
What we will accomplish:
In the modern patient journey “customer experience” proves to be critical to business success. Patients are demanding, impatient, and willing to switch doctors when dissatisfied. Until the moment a consumer enters the examination room, he or she goes through a series of actions and transactions that highly resemble any customer journey: researching and evaluating your staff and services, engaging your office to get more information, reading reviews on trusted sites, and taking action to schedule an appointment. Today, much of this journey happens through digital channels, and the nature of these interactions can dictate whether a consumer becomes your patient or not. A broken, frustrating, or inconvenient experience at any of these touchpoints could lead your patient right to a competitor’s practice.
The new customer journey begins and continues online:
From airline tickets to buying goods on Amazon to researching the best local healthcare options, the internet has transformed how people access information, assess their choices, and make purchasing decisions. And it’s a common myth that only young people are using the web for healthcare reasons. While that might have been more true in the past, the 60+ demographic is now going digital, too.
A few statistics about the 60+ audience:
Today, older patients use technological resources in unprecedented numbers. Mobile phones have enabled the demographic to access diverse health information, facilitating a patient’s sense of agency and self-efficacy in improving their health and making informed choices (AMA Journal of Ethics). 79% of adults ages 50–64 have a smartphone, and 53% of adults over 65 use a smartphone (PEW). Google continues to respond to these trends and has made strategic changes to the user interface to help people access information quickly, with as few clicks as possible, ultimately driven by the motive to keep users within the Google product ecosystem. (Read more here.)
Patients’ demand for ease and consumer-friendly convenience is growing, and the digital experience needs to encourage trust across these critical channels. Never before has it been more imperative to attract patients of all ages by leveraging digital tools.
For more information, check out Doctor.com’s Patient Trends Report.
Qualities of an ideal practice for a reputation management pilot:
Luckily, the perfect practice exists within White River Health System!
Pilot practice name:
WRMC Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic
501 Virginia Dr. Suite C, Batesville, AR 72501
James Allen, MD
Jeffrey Angel, MD
Dylan Carpenter, MD
Wesley Greer, MD
Josh McIntosh, APRN
Chad Grady, APRN
The Ideal state for WRHS practices:
Practice: Current status
Google My Business:
Average rating: 3.9 stars
Newest review: June 2019
Corporate tool: Reputation Insights
Practice-level tool: Companion (desktop app)
Generating new reviews might seem cumbersome and time-consuming. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Doctor.com designed this process with a practice manager’s busy schedule in mind. It takes just seconds to enter a phone number or email address, then trigger a review request to send to the patient. Since efficiency is key to successful review generation, Doctor.com enables you to work smarter, not harder, to build a stellar online presence and attract more patients.
Sending the message is the easy part. An important new habit is going to be making this kind of interaction a part of the conversation. A personal invitation to write a review is the best way to get a positive outcome, and the after effects will be monumental in spreading the word.
During checkout, simply ask the patient if they would be willing to share feedback online about their experience. If they are amenable, mention you can send a shortcut to Google via SMS or email. In the desktop app, enter the contact details, select Google, and hit send.
94% of patients search for and read reviews before selecting a healthcare provider. Asking for reviews is an easy, pain-free way to establish trust with your community and convert more people into actual patients.
Healthcare searches travel both at the practice level and the facility level. Online directories focus on either the facility as the subject (e.g., YP, Facebook, Google My Business) or the provider as the subject (e.g., Healthgrades, WebMD, Vitals). WRHS needs a sound strategy for generating more patient feedback on both types of listings.
Additionally, not every website has equal visibility, brand recognition, and brand equity. To maximize resources and optimize our outcomes, we need to be strategically focused on key sites, rather than attempting to “boil the ocean” by trying to generate feedback in too many places at once and diluting our results. Instead, let us concentrate our efforts where it matters most and focus the pilot on strategically important sites.
The full picture of what we have been doing with syndicating listings data is important for broad coverage, but reputation strategy will be focused on the most important sites.
Facility focus: Generate more patient feedback on the Google My Business page
Tools: Reputation Insights, Patient Connections campaign
Provider focus: Generate more patient feedback on Google, Healthgrades, Vitals, and Bing
Tools: On-site Companion desktop app
Implementation and training: 2 weeks
Pilot time: 3 months
Analyze and present results: 2 weeks
Total pilot run time: 4 months