Patient Engagement Increases up to 29% with Online Physician Ratings and Reviews

Providence Health & Serivces

Providence Health & Services (PH&S) is the fourth largest not-for-profit health system in the United States, committed to providing for the needs of its communities across five states. PH&S operates 34 hospitals, 600 physician clinics, 22 long-term care facilities, 19 hospice and home health programs, 693 supportive housing units in 14 locations, and has over 82,000 employees. Its health plan serves caregivers and other large employer groups covering 513,000 members. PH&S includes a family of organizations and is part of Providence St. Joseph Health, a parent organization created by PH&S and St. Joseph Health.

The Challenge

Patients now have more choices and information to help make one of their most important health decisions – selecting the best provider for their care. In fact, a PH&S digital marketing team analysis revealed that the number one consumer activity on its website is finding a physician.

Since rating and review sites are now a key component of a patient’s research, PH&S saw an opportunity to become a more trusted voice in the provider selection process. After improving the accuracy of its provider directories, and building out biographies and related information, PH&S identified ratings and reviews on its provider pages as a priority for increasing consumer interest.

The Initiative

PH&S selected Binary Star Ratings from Binary Fountain to help manage and publish ratings and comments from patient experience surveys to its provider pages. Binary Fountain met PH&S’ needs with its robust transparency solution and healthcare industry expertise. PH&S’ Oregon region was selected as the first market for the program.

The digital marketing team sourced patient feedback data from its Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys, and created an approval process to optimize survey comments. To prevent skewed ratings, providers needed at least 30 patient ratings to have survey data posted on their profile pages. The team gained buy-in from physicians – many whom were skeptical of online reviews – by letting them review their patients’ comments from CAHPS surveys before they went live. This allayed their concerns about the validity of the comments and gave them a voice in the process.

Impacting Consumer Engagement

Binary Star Ratings rolled out across PH&S’ Oregon market in 2015, with star ratings and reviews published on more than 500 of its physicians’ profile pages. Several months post-launch, an analysis of 150 physicians (86 primary care providers and 64 specialists) revealed the program’s dramatic effect on consumer behavior. Primary and specialty care providers with star ratings saw a 25 percent and 29 percent increase in page views, respectively, as compared to providers without star ratings, who saw only a 5 percent increase. Patients confirmed that they found the information valuable in informing their provider selection. In a recent survey of patients who viewed online provider pages, 87 percent found the star ratings to be helpful and 85 percent found the comments useful in their selection process.

PH&S is also meeting the rising demand for transparency in healthcare by publishing all provider reviews, regardless of the rating. To ensure patient privacy as part of this process, Binary Fountain provides PH&S with the tools to analyze comments and remove protected health information (PHI).

PH&S also partnered with Binary Fountain to help raise the visibility of their providers online, given that nearly 80% of consumers start their search for a provider online. Previously, third-party ratings and reviews appeared above a provider’s PH&S profile in search results. Working with Binary Fountain to generate greater and more recent consumer content, providers with reviews on PH&S physician directory pages are now more likely to appear at or near the top of search results – and with more reviews compared to other sites.

Binary Fountain continues to help PH&S engage its patient population online, building a relationship as their trusted healthcare provider. As of September 2016, PH&S expanded the program to include nearly 2,000 providers across several states.

“Consumers expect to shop for and purchase healthcare just like any other service. Binary Fountain is helping us empower them to see what other patients are saying, so that they can find the best physician,” noted Orest Holubec, senior vice president of communications with PH&S. “As an added bonus, fresh reviews keep our online physician profiles relevant, which helps their profiles hit the top of the list when consumers search for physicians on the web.”

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