Recently, we presented a webinar on the consumer revolution in healthcare, entitled “Marketing Strategies for Patient Engagement and Acquisition.”
The presenters were Aaron Clifford, Senior VP of Marketing for Binary Fountain; Elizabeth Davis, Reputation Manager with HCA, and Carrie Liken, Head of Healthcare for Yext.
Aaron started things off with a quotation from Brian Solis, the well-known consultant, author and speaker, who welcomes us all to the new era of marketing and service, where “your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
Next, Carrie Liken of YEXT described the healthcare patient journey, an experience cycle that begins even before a patient is diagnosed. The first step is DISCOVERY, in which the patient researches their symptoms online and then decides what type of provider to see. Step Two is SELECTION, with the patient consulting search engines, provider directories and reviews to choose a physician. Third is POINT OF CARE, in which the patient notices aspects of the practice experience: office staff, wait time, billing problems and so on. Last is the FEEDBACK stage, with the patient visiting an online review site to leave feedback, positive or negative. Either way, the review they post will help other patients in their journey.
Carrie introduced some eye-opening statistics about the Patient Journey:
- 77% of people search online before making an appointment.
- 76% of people search for a provider (not a facility) when looking for health info
As Carrie described next, there are potential pain points if online access information is incorrect, or staff attitudes are perceived as unhelpful. And, when a patient leaves negative feedback, that influences the choices of potential patients who follow, which has an impact on revenue.
More statistics demonstrate Aaron’s comment that “The competition is only a click away:”
- 47% of patients are willing to go out-of-network based on reviews
- 50% of consumers searching for a provider will not choose a provider without reviews”
Next, Elizabeth Davis described how HCA arrived at its corporate reputation and listing information management strategy, how it functions from a corporate standpoint, and how the company works to optimize it as an acquisition and engagement strategy.
HCA operates 174 hospitals; 1,000+ practice locations; 90+ urgent care locations; 119 surgery centers, employs 37,000 active physicians, and records some 8.4 million Emergency Department visits a year (HCA sees 20 million patients per year altogether).
Elizabeth offered examples showing how easily online listings can spread misinformation, from a physician incorrectly listed as deceased, to another physician’s W-9 form with home address and social security number, posted by accident in a Google My Business account for a year, to an error with potential life-and-death consequence — a Google map destination for an emergency room that was really an empty lot. Beginning in 2011, HCA began working with practice managers at all its facilities to reclaim and correct listings at third party sites including Google, Yelp, Vitals, HealthGrades and others. That effort took close to two years, and 4 people to coordinate.
In building a case for a unified reputation management software solution, the HCA reputation management team demonstrated that online reviews represented a wealth of actionable data and unaddressed opportunities for improvement. The team took a hands-on approach to demonstrate the value of engaging with patients to optimize reviews. One Nashville clinic recorded 2,000+ views on Google business, 100 calls and 150 web site visits in one week.
The team added a crucial question to patient experience surveys – Did the patient book their appointment based on information they found online? Working with practices to improve patient experience, the team saw the number of patients responding “yes” to this question increase by 131 percent. The clear lesson is that new and returning patients alike look online for information on which practice to choose, how to make an appointment, how to get there and many more steps on their patient journey. Assembling their business case, the team could clearly see that enterprise-wide reputation management could not be maintained manually without adding a lot of employees.
The team chose Binary Fountain for its superior automation and template features, because of its highly developed, healthcare-specific Natural Language Processing capabilities, and especially because Binary Fountain embodies forward-thinking expertise and functionality. For Elizabeth’s HCA team Binary Fountain was, hands down, best in class.
Today, HCA oversees its company-wide reputation management program with a central office staff of three people, and input from staffers assigned to patient engagement in each practice. They also partner with YEXT to more easily maintain all the details of staff, hours, services, location and contact information across third-party platforms publishing physician and location data.
The result is a dramatic improvement in patient experience as measured by positive reviews. As Aaron Clifford points out in the webinar, “We know that when patient experience is improved, there will be a positive impact on revenue.”
There’s much more to learn in the hour-long webinar, including the details of how YEXT and Binary Fountain work with HCA to automate the digital patient experience, online information updates and reputation management, plus a detailed slide deck illustrating the steps of patient engagement and acquisition.
You’re invited to have a listen and a look. Just Sign In Here.
About the Author
Sabrina helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.