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September 19, 2017

How to persuade physicians and win over executives with data

By: Brian Williams

Unfavorable online reviews can potentially torpedo the reputation of a healthcare organization or a provider – and negatively impact revenue. As healthcare marketers implement reputation management programs, success depends on gaining buy-in from key stakeholders, particularly physicians and management. However, this can be easier said than done. Physicians can be wary of online reviews. Many…

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Unfavorable online reviews can potentially torpedo the reputation of a healthcare organization or a provider – and negatively impact revenue. As healthcare marketers implement reputation management programs, success depends on gaining buy-in from key stakeholders, particularly physicians and management.

However, this can be easier said than done. Physicians can be wary of online reviews. Many doubt their validity or disagree with them. Others want bad reviews to “go away.”  On the other hand, healthcare executives are making patient experience a

Research data show that misgivings are common. A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reports that 78% of providers say online physician reviews can cause them stress. This is despite the fact that about half of patients in the survey said they feel reviews are useful.

What’s the key to gaining buy-in? Let analytics do the talking. Using data to engage physicians and communicate progress to executives helps both groups of stakeholders embrace the value of online reviews and surveys, including how they can use the results to improve their online presence and gain insights into where they can improve the patient experience.

When presenting your case for a reputation management program, let revenue-related statistics speak for you:

  • 75% of Americans say online ratings and review sites have influenced their decision when selecting a physician (source: Binary Fountain)
  • 95 percent of respondents find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable. (source: Binary Fountain)
  • Organizations providing “superior” patient experience achieve net margins 50 percent higher than those providing “average” patient experience. (source: Accenture)
  • Ratings from patient surveys like HCAHPS also impact revenue. Hospitals with higher patient ratings saw a net margin of 4.7 percent, while hospitals with poor ratings saw just 1.8 percent net margin. (source: Deloitte) How can a hospital reach HCAHPS or revenue goals without putting patient experience first?

Physicians are overachievers and often naturally competitive. They are also trained to rely on empirical evidence, to trust data and outcomes. Giving physicians a clear perspective on patient experience data – insight that clearly affects their practices – can grab their attention. Once they see reports that show good reviews far outnumber unfavorable ones, they’re much more inclined to buy in.

Once providers and managers gain insight into the collective score of both the physician and the facility, they can cultivate a plan for continuous improvement based on actual patient experience and outcomes.  Providing practice-wide physicians benchmarking reports on patient experience factors can incentivize them to improve in areas where they have low scores.

For more advice on best practices for choosing, adopting and implementing a reputation management program, visit our blog.

About the Author

Brian Williams
Engagement Manager

Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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August 29, 2017

Webinar Highlights: Marketing Strategies for Patient Engagement and Acquisition

By: Sabrina Egan

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,…

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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 Egan
Engagement Manager

Sabrina helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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August 24, 2017

How to handle PHI from online reviews and surveys

By: John McFeely

There’s no question that patient reviews are growing ever more important to healthcare organizations and their providers. The new digitally-empowered healthcare consumer rules: seventy-seven percent of patients today use online reviews when choosing a provider. The prevalence of online comments, and the sheer number of online comments and reviews on sites like Facebook and Google…

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There’s no question that patient reviews are growing ever more important to healthcare organizations and their providers. The new digitally-empowered healthcare consumer rules: seventy-seven percent of patients today use online reviews when choosing a provider. The prevalence of online comments, and the sheer number of online comments and reviews on sites like Facebook and Google make it much more likely that protected health information (PHI) will show up online.

It is vital that a healthcare organization establish a process for handling situations where a patient posts an online review or comment related to their physicians or facility – and reveals their PHI. This goes beyond good consumer relations, of course. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) imposes stiff financial penalties for privacy breaches and exposure of PHI. The legal tangle that can result is reason enough to be pro-active on privacy.

What’s your procedure for monitoring reviews with PHI?

The ‘early warning system’ for dealing with PHI is your reputation management policy and the tools you use to maintain it. Make sure you are monitoring online mentions of your facilities and providers for potential trouble: watch for addresses, names, procedures, and other signs of exposed PHI. Here’s a list of the you need to know.

When it comes to managing reviews on your facility’s provider pages, Binary Fountain recommends publishing all comments from patient experience surveys, whatever the sentiment. However, comments should be monitored for PHI (along with profanity and libelous comments), with the identifying content being removed before it’s published, in accordance with the HIPAA privacy rule. This is a best-practice approach that reflects industry standards.

When monitoring third-party online rating and review sites, your editing tools should include templates that help ensure consistency of response, so that the reply is appreciated as genuine, rather than canned or robot-like. You should analyze patient feedback from a multitude of online sources to ensure maximum coverage: social media, review sites, advocacy forums, blogs and others.

Are you responding properly?
In situations where there is potential PHI exposure, it’s essential to adopt and follow a written response procedure that immediately engages Legal, Patient Advocacy and Customer Care staff as appropriate to the individual case.

In coordination with them, your response should come within a couple days – hours, if possible. The longer PHI sits exposed to public view, the more troublesome it is. Take the conversation offline rather than risking an online back-and-forth that could worsen the situation. Requesting that they remove the PHI is in their best interest – not just yours. Also, if the PHI is disclosed in a complaint or negative review, the provider appears to the public as neglectful and uncaring. In this case continue to take the conversation offline and help them contact a patient relations staffer.

Are you prepared?
It’s vital to have in place a reputation management program that actively seeks comment, and that actively engages with consumers. So, what’s the best time to prepare your response to comments, complaints or reviews that potentially expose PHI? NOW, before the next comment is posted!

To learn more, visit our blog homepage.

About the Author

John McFeely
Sales Director

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August 16, 2017

The Return on Engagement of Healthcare Reputation Management

By: Brian Williams

Online reputation management has become an essential part of healthcare marketing and patient relations for hospitals and medical practices. In a world that’s focused on returns, healthcare reputation management yields opportunities for ROE – Return on Engagement. More and more, patients spend time online researching healthcare providers. Providers are seeing more reviews about their practice…

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Online reputation management has become an essential part of healthcare marketing and patient relations for hospitals and medical practices. In a world that’s focused on returns, healthcare reputation management yields opportunities for ROE – Return on Engagement.

More and more, patients spend time online researching healthcare providers. Providers are seeing more reviews about their practice and their physicians on third-party rating and review sites. With our own research showing that 95% of people find online ratings to be reliable, and Brightlocal reporting that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, more healthcare organizations are developing their own reputation management programs. However, many are only listening – not analyzing and responding to reviews. As one marketing executive said, “if we’re not engaging with our patients, then other people are going to tell the story for us.”

Engage with patients to create a better experience
Today’s informed patients expect the same kind of interaction they receive from hotels or their favorite retailer. Responsive engagement is the key to a good reputation. For instance, if a patient posts a negative comment from your waiting room, you may have the opportunity to resolve the issue immediately, if you’re actively monitoring and responding to comments. We’ve seen many cases where patients have changed a negative online review to a positive one, or removed it, after marketing engaged them and helped facilitate service recovery.

One important result of engagement is – more engagement. Our customer success team reports that reviews tend to increase in number, especially when the practice regularly engages and responds to patient feedback. When prospective patients see that the practice is listening and responding, this encourages further customer engagement. Patients want to share their good experiences with the world and healthcare marketers can get the best ROE when they provide a convenient way for them to do so.

ROE depends on effective reputation management
As vital as it is to manage online reviews on third party websites, you also need to engage prospective patients on your healthcare organization’s physician directory pages.  An effective tool can help support the program.

Providence Health & Services (PH&S), the fourth largest not-for-profit health system in the United States, is doing just that. They’re managing ratings and comments from patient experience surveys and publishing them on its provider pages. In 2015, PH&S rolled out our transparency solution across its Oregon market, with star ratings and reviews published on more than 500 of its physician profile pages. Several months in, an analysis of 86 primary care providers and 64 specialists (150 physicians in all) revealed a dramatic effect on consumer behavior. You can read more about it here.

Sustain and grow reputation management
How are bad and good reviews impacting your providers and organization? Engaging with online reviews can help maximize your online presence, increase patient acquisition and loyalty, and improve your reputation. Your physicians and management will appreciate it. Looking to get started or just need some tips? Here are some best practices on responding to online reviews.

About the Author

Brian Williams
Engagement Manager

Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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August 04, 2017

5 Mistakes That Can Seriously Damage Your Reputation – and What You Can Do to Avoid Them

By: Zargham Ghani

What should you do with a negative online review? You must respond quickly – and correctly – or the situation could get out of hand, spiraling into an unwanted public argument that can torch the practice’s reputation and even invite legal troubles. Here are five reputation management mistakes that can have devastating effects, and some…

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What should you do with a negative online review? You must respond quickly – and correctly – or the situation could get out of hand, spiraling into an unwanted public argument that can torch the practice’s reputation and even invite legal troubles.

Here are five reputation management mistakes that can have devastating effects, and some simple ways to avoid them.

1. Allow the physician to respond (Don’t. Seriously, DON’T!)
If the response to a bad review comes directly from the doctor, what began as a patient relations challenge can easily turn troublesome. Having the physician discuss a complaint risks escalating a bad review into a back-and-forth of accusation and retaliation – in full online view of the public. It’s better to 1) onboard them to how marketing can handle engaging reviews; 2) tactfully inform the physician that a bad review has appeared; 3) keep them away from the keyboard, and 4) update them as you move offline to discuss and resolve the matter with the unhappy patient.

In the long term, the best way to prevent online confrontations is to adopt a transparency initiative that actively engages physicians in the review process.

2. Have no written policy for responding to reviews
Patient reviews and social media comments are now the norm in health care, so it is vital to have in place a written policy for responding to reviews, positive or negative. Timely, effective response depends on your staff knowing who is assigned to monitor reviews, what legal pitfalls to look for (libel, Protected Health Information, HIPAA violations, etc.), who will respond and how the response will be tailored. A thorough, well-rounded policy with response templates offers confidence that every review will receive a prompt and appropriate answer.

3. Respond too slowly to a negative review – or ignore it altogether
Address both positive and negative reviews within two or three business days at most. If the review is negative, reach out to the patient as soon as possible and assist them in contacting a patient relations staffer instead of discussing the issue online. Waiting too long to respond will likely further frustrate the patient. A complaint that goes unanswered tells the world your practice doesn’t care about patients.

Binary Fountain provides the platform and best practices for healthcare marketers looking to engage patient reviews harvested from over 100 online sources, including social media, review sites, advocacy forums, blogs and other sources.

4. Make a bad review worse by pursuing the conversation online or arguing with the patient
It’s tempting to come to the defense of your practice by justifying the steps that led to a complaint, or disputing the patient’s account. Don’t start a public conversation that could reveal Protected Health Information (PHI), or draw unwanted attention to the issue before there’s a chance to seek resolution.

5. Allow a HIPAA violation
HIPAA privacy rule violations can occur even where the intentions are the best. Online reviews heighten the risk. One medical practice paid a fine recently when an online post describing a positive medical outcome – which didn’t name the patient – was judged to have revealed enough personal information to make their identity obvious to neighbors in the small town where the patient lived. For reviews that have legal implications, such as revealing PHI, develop a policy and process with your legal department that includes contacting them immediately for advice on reaching out to the patient about their issue and request that the comment be removed.

Want to learn more about best practices? Read this blog post on “Reputation Management and Responding to Reviews.”

About the Author

Zargham Ghani
Engagement Manager

Zargham help healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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July 07, 2017

5 Ways to Attract Millennial Moms to Your Practice

By: Sabrina Egan

Yeah, we know—we’re a little weary of hearing about millennials, too, but with a purchasing power that just won’t quit, millennials are a significant market to consider. According to the Pew Research Center, more than a million millennials are becoming mothers each year. Today, ninety percent of first-time mothers are millennials, and successful healthcare practices…

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Yeah, we know—we’re a little weary of hearing about millennials, too, but with a purchasing power that just won’t quit, millennials are a significant market to consider. According to the Pew Research Center, more than a million millennials are becoming mothers each year. Today, ninety percent of first-time mothers are millennials, and successful healthcare practices are realizing that this demographic should be taken seriously. And, in typical millennial fashion, this generation is rewriting the rules as they go.

Millennials are thoughtful, engaged consumers who are perhaps the most health-conscious generation to date, and they are increasingly becoming parents who make decisions and purchases that affect their entire family. Millennial women, in particular, are known to research at least ten sources before making a purchase (versus two for men). They control eighty-five percent of household purchases and have a spending power of $2.4 trillion. Because of this, staying up-to-date on trends and investing in physician reputation management should be a top priority for healthcare practices and OB-GYN facilities to help young mothers make informed healthcare decisions.

Here are the top five ways to attract this important market to your healthcare practice.

 

Be Authentic.

The need to build trust with millennial moms is ushering in a new era for physicians and healthcare providers. This generation of young mothers is the first to fully embrace the digital age, and their decision-making skills have been shaped by the rapid introduction of technology in the last decade of the 20th century. Young mothers today are highly sensitive to authenticity and crave genuine engagement, so it’s important for healthcare organizations to join the online conversation.

Millennial moms expect brands to be open about their philosophy and values. Being transparent with both negative and positive reviews on your physician directory pages will demonstrate your dedication to transparency and building patient trust.

 

Be a Part of the Online Conversation.

Brands that embrace technology are likely to be viewed positively by millennial moms, so it’s essential for healthcare practices to take part in the online discussion. Although physicians and healthcare providers should actively participate as experts in their online communities, they must be careful not to turn their interactions into a one-way lecture. Personalization is key. Moms want to feel comfortable in knowing brands will treat them, and their children as individuals. Plus, sixty-two percent of millennials are more likely to become a loyal customer when a brand engages with them.

 

Embrace Online Reviews.

Online presence, search rankings and patient approval ratings and comments, can all impact a physician’s online reputation. Tap into this new era of online consumer engagement by creating physician review and rating pages to help drive traffic to your practice.

Young mothers today share their opinions online more than any other generation of mothers before them, and strongly rely on their support networks for guidance.

These ”digital natives” are likely to be more active on social media as well as proactive in seeking out reviews before making purchasing decisions—and they’re more likely to be sharing content on these social networks, too. Interacting online is simply a part of their daily lives, so healthcare practices should take advantage of the available insights across healthcare review sites and incorporate digital patient surveys into their practice.

 

Be Meaningful.

In an age where big data and digital experiences often trump the message, it’s time for a return to brand relationships that speak to audience’s values. Healthcare practices must consider providing valuable content, engagement and personalized communication. Commit to transparency by publishing reviews and ratings on your provider profile pages to help new or soon-to-be mothers find the care and physician that’s right for them and their families.

 

Don’t Stereotype.

Don’t lump all moms into one market segment. Today’s brands need to consider the various roles of women today and focus on their areas of interest—particularly children and health. For instance, many millennial moms have difficulty identifying with images of the traditional two-parent family with dual incomes. Unlike mothers of past generations, millennial moms have an on-the-go lifestyle and have considerable spending power, as well as busy lives in their online and offline worlds. Marketers should consider developing campaigns that focus on the mother-child relationship and acknowledge the independent identity that many millennial mothers have built for themselves.

No matter what you’ve heard, this young and informed generation is now faced with making important healthcare decisions for their growing families. It’s critical for physicians and providers to understand millennial moms and what influences their healthcare choices. Millennial parents are parents whose lives are immersed in new technologies, but their basic needs and goals are no different than past generations. The conversation is simply happening in new places and at different speeds. Will you be a part of it?

About the Author

Sabrina Egan
Engagement Manager

Sabrina helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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June 30, 2017

3 Ways Online Reviews and Surveys Can Help Your Practice or Hospital

By: George LaDue

Patient feedback is changing the business of healthcare. It’s playing a significant role in digital consumerism as seventy-seven percent of patients today are leveraging online reviews to select a provider. Healthcare systems are also going through a shift as many now see online reviews and surveys as an asset for helping them improve patient experience —…

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Patient feedback is changing the business of healthcare. It’s playing a significant role in digital consumerism as seventy-seven percent of patients today are leveraging online reviews to select a provider. Healthcare systems are also going through a shift as many now see online reviews and surveys as an asset for helping them improve patient experience — and attract and retain patients.

The opportunities for patient feedback to impact a healthcare organization are numerous. Here are three ways you can apply online reviews and patient surveys to help your health system.

  1. Boost Appointment Requests from Physician Directory Pages

As online reviews increasingly affect consumer care choices, healthcare organizations can gain a competitive advantage by publishing them to their physician web pages. Online reviews can significantly impact your rankings in search engines, which search results get clicked on, and consumer purchasing decisions. Publishing verified, rich patient survey comments to your physician directory webpages can help increase SEO and attract consumers seeking a physician. Physician directory pages with online ratings and reviews typically generate more online engagement and physician appointment requests than those without them.

2. Increase Physician, Staff and Patient Engagement

As patients increasingly embrace their role as consumers and seek out reviews before choosing a provider, it becomes ever more important for healthcare organizations to engage with patients online. Encouraging patient feedback is crucial to capturing valuable insights for your practice. Urge patients to participate in online review sites to create more reviews and use those insights to create a patient-centered culture and increase staff engagement in your practice. To foster friendly competition amongst physicians, benchmark their performance and share results with them. You may even consider rewarding employees recognized for receiving positive feedback from patients.

3. Implement Patient Experience Improvements

Take advantage of the opportunity to listen, analyze and act on the plethora of feedback available as patients become increasingly vocal about their care experiences. Adopting digital surveys can provide a significant pathway to collecting patient feedback and can save time by helping healthcare professionals quickly analyze trends and comments. Practices can capture more meaningful feedback with digital surveys today and implement those insights to improve their practice and increase ROI tomorrow.

About the Author

George LaDue
Sales Director

George helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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June 29, 2017

The Growing Value of Patient Experience Survey Data for Healthcare Marketers

By: John McFeely

In recent years, healthcare practices have been focusing more on engaging patients in their growing role as healthcare consumers. Many healthcare marketing departments are expecting to spend more time and resources influencing patient behavior. As consumers seek and have increased access to healthcare information online, marketing teams are recognizing the value of robust patient experience…

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In recent years, healthcare practices have been focusing more on engaging patients in their growing role as healthcare consumers. Many healthcare marketing departments are expecting to spend more time and resources influencing patient behavior. As consumers seek and have increased access to healthcare information online, marketing teams are recognizing the value of robust patient experience survey data as a resource to inform and guide patients seeking a physician online.

Press Ganey, a leading provider of performance improvement measurement, analytics and strategic advisory solutions, has been a pioneer in advocating for patient experience measurement for decades. We sat down with Press Ganey’s Vice President of Strategic & Product Marketing, Anne Stern, for her insights into the growing value of patient experience survey data to healthcare marketers. 

Hi Anne, What should marketers know about patient experience?

Patient experience is about everything that affects a patient during care—including how it is influenced by the patient’s condition, treatment and associated suffering. To evaluate and improve the patient experience, there is no better source of information than patients themselves.

Press Ganey pioneered patient experience measurement with psychometrically-tested and scientifically-validated surveys and comparative benchmarking. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) includes surveys to assess patient perception of care as part of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program. CMS began publicly reporting HCAHPS results in March 2008, and implemented Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) in 2012, tying performance on CAHPS to payment.  The industry has been evolving with more and more emphasis on formal surveys to capture and utilize patient feedback. 

What value can patient experience insights bring to marketers?

Traditionally, healthcare provider leadership, quality, nurses and physicians are focused on insights from standardized patient experience surveys, using them to help understand where improvements can be made. As consumers are seeking – and gaining more access to healthcare information online, healthcare marketers are beginning to play a larger role in the patient experience.

Through patient feedback, marketers can understand the perception of their brand and reputation. The opportunity for marketers is to leverage data gathered by patient experience efforts in their efforts to engage with healthcare consumers. Marketers are often the conduit to the organization for patient feedback collected through online review sites. They can also be the catalyst and driver for transparency – sharing standardized patient experience results through stars and comments on their organization’s web site.

Why is it important for healthcare practices to adopt transparency?

Adopting transparency by publicly sharing patient feedback, through star ratings and comments, increases consumer engagement. The robust patient survey data serves as a great opportunity for marketers to help drive consumers to their provider directory pages and control the conversation around their physicians’ brands.

Patient surveys provide large volumes of in-depth, high-quality patient feedback. When marketers share this wealth of comments – both positive and negative – it builds credibility for the practice as well as consumer trust. If only positive comments are made public, this can quickly raise questions to the validity of the data. Publishing all patient feedback communicates that your organization values patient feedback and wants to better understand how they can improve the patient experience.

This rich data is becoming increasingly influential in affecting the consumer experience when it comes to selecting a physician. It’s particularly influential when factoring in the accumulation of online reviews that can increase SEO, and as I mentioned before, drive traffic to the physician directory pages.

How can a transparency initiative affect a healthcare practice?

When they know reviews and ratings are made public, a transparency initiative can spark competition among physicians as well as encourage more focus on improving the patient experience throughout the organization. Organizations leading the transparency movement have seen increases in their patient experience results.

Today, marketers need to prioritize creating an engaging experience that informs and guides consumer decision-making with robust and reliable online evaluations of the patient experience. Press Ganey’s partnership with Binary Fountain provides clients with comprehensive transparency and brand management solutions to effectively engage patients across their healthcare journey.

About the Author

John McFeely
Sales Director

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June 22, 2017

Taking Control of Your Online Healthcare Reputation

By: Sabrina Egan

With patients becoming increasingly vocal about their care experience, marketers are taking control of their healthcare organization’s and physicians’ online reputation and helping them understand where they can improve the patient experience. Located in Frederick, Maryland, The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics—MMI Division, a physician-owned practice with over 40 providers and 5 locations, believes in providing…

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With patients becoming increasingly vocal about their care experience, marketers are taking control of their healthcare organization’s and physicians’ online reputation and helping them understand where they can improve the patient experience.

Located in Frederick, Maryland, The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics—MMI Division, a physician-owned practice with over 40 providers and 5 locations, believes in providing the highest quality of life with the least risk while ensuring a seamless treatment experience from beginning to end. Their Director of Marketing, Barbara Hiller, leads the way in facilitating the organization’s online reputation management and patient experience programs. We spoke with Barbara to find out how she was managing them with Binary Health Analytics.

Hi Barbara, can you give us a little background on why you adopted Binary Health Analtyics

From advertising to monitoring online reviews, I wear a lot of hats here.  As part of this initiative, I was spending a lot of time looking through our survey cards and monitoring third-party review sites – one at a time. It was a painstaking, manual process that was challenging to stay on top of every week.

How have you been using the platform?

Binary Health Analytics gave me a single view across all our online reviews and survey responses. Although our patient feedback is 98 percent positive, by monitoring these reviews and surveys, we’ve been able to better understand what issues need to be addressed and tackle that remaining 2 percent.

It’s really been an invaluable tool for turning negative experiences into a positive. With digital patient surveys now offered online and during checkout on our iPads, we’re capturing more survey responses than before and uncovering issues we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.  I can now monitor and receive alerts on less-than-favorable reviews. This has given me the opportunity to reach out to these patients, fix the issue and turn it into a positive experience.

We’ve also used these reviews to have some important one-on-one conversations with physicians. Patient comments provide evidence to our physicians where they need to develop professionally. We also present reports to all our physicians that benchmark their performance against each other and show what’s being said about them. Our physical therapy department is also very active in using these reports as a tool to gauge how they’re doing. Furthermore, the information is a great tool for review purposes when it comes to annual performance evaluations.

How is this affecting your online presence?

We’ve captured such a wealth of great feedback from our surveys that we wanted to publish it on our website. Patients could review them and feel confident in the physician they’re selecting. We’ve started posting them to our physician profile pages and also created a testimonial page for our midlevel providers and physical therapists. We get a lot of detailed patient comments about our physical therapists since they’re very engaged with our patients, and those reviews really speak to the practice as a whole.

In summary, how has it helped you?

It was truly an “ah-ha” moment when we first implemented Binary Fountain’s reputation management solution. I’m now spending 70% less time managing patient feedback while getting over 200% more survey responses. I couldn’t imagine doing my job without this platform again.

Binary Fountain has provided us a time-saving way to control the conversation around our practice and improve the patient experience through one dashboard. We’ve been able to accomplish our goals of efficiently publishing and reviewing patient feedback while continuing to deliver quality healthcare and guarantee our patients that we will go above and beyond to cater to their needs.

About the Author

Sabrina Egan
Engagement Manager

Sabrina helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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June 02, 2017

Impacting Reputation Management and Patient Experience with Online Feedback: An Interview with Spartanburg Regional Health System

By: Brian Williams

Medical Group of the Carolinas, part of the Spartanburg Regional Health System, has 96 practice locations and 330 physicians throughout western South Carolina and North Carolina. In 2014, they initiated a pilot project with Binary Fountain to boost its online reputation management and patient experience programs in five of its practice locations, and then went…

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Medical Group of the Carolinas, part of the Spartanburg Regional Health System, has 96 practice locations and 330 physicians throughout western South Carolina and North Carolina. In 2014, they initiated a pilot project with Binary Fountain to boost its online reputation management and patient experience programs in five of its practice locations, and then went live throughout the entire system in 2015.

Recently, we spoke with Mary Reid, RN, Senior Physician Development Consultant, Marketing, and Susie Woodward, Physician Development Director at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System about how they manage online ratings, reviews and survey feedback to impact and improve the patient experience. Mary just came back from presenting at the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit on “Impacting Patient Experience with Online Feedback.”

Can you give us some background on how you identified the need for an online reputation management initiative?

Looking at the big picture, patient experience is one of our healthcare system’s top priorities, and marketing has a role in it.  For this initiative, the initial impetus came from CMS and the need to assess patient experience through the CAHPS® Clinician & Group Surveys (CG-CAHPS). As you know, these survey results can provide great insight into the patient experience, and show us where we can improve care as providers, physician practices and medical groups. Also, survey data can equip consumers with information they can use to choose the provider or practice that’s right for them.

We also discovered a wealth of online patient reviews about our physicians. We quickly realized that we needed a way to monitor and respond to patient comments, and help our physicians manage their online reputations and profile pages. That job was much bigger than our internal team had the capacity to manage effectively, so we needed a more comprehensive strategy.

What steps did you take to get this initiative going?

Because this was such a big challenge, we knew we needed to engage our C-level executives and physician leadership to gain support and buy-in for our patient experience strategy. We secured a physician champion who recognized the importance of this program, and he helped coordinate and launch our pilot project. With his support, we were able to roll out our program throughout the entire Spartanburg Regional Health System. He really has been vital to our success.

Describe for us how the online reputation management program was managed, and how it supports improvements to the patient experience.

Marketing was involved in all aspects of the program. We took a holistic approach using Binary Health Analytics to capture, analyze and engage with online feedback and surveys. We worked with the physician practices to manage the survey process, which were completed by patients during check out using iPads. We kept the survey brief with questions reflecting CG-CAHPS measures. This approach has been effective as we’re getting a 33% completion rate and it’s helping us quickly capture feedback that we can promptly act on.

After we implemented the Binary Fountain platform throughout our system, we began receiving reports that help us identify and track trends in patient experience. That data is tremendously useful in seeing what’s working well and, just as important, which areas need more attention. We also received alerts when we had a patient experience feedback score 2.5 or below. That’s when we proactively worked with a customer service team to engage with the patient and resolve their issue promptly. We take a lot of pride in delivering a great patient experience. Overall, the health system maintains a 4.8-out-of-5 patient experience score.

Here at Spartanburg Regional, our Physician Relations department resides inside of Marketing, and we spend a lot of time orienting new physicians on reputation management and their impact on the patient experience. We monitor physician pages on third-party sites such as Vitals, Healthgrades, RateMD and UCompareHealthCare, as well as what patients are posting on our social media channels. If physicians are concerned about their online ratings or comments, we can help them take steps to address patient complaints, learn from what’s being said about them and encourage positive feedback.

Online ratings and reviews are a big part of healthcare consumerism, and it helps us improve the care we provide while preserving and promoting the online reputation of our physicians. This initiative allows us to dig deeper into those practices that are consistently ranking high in patient experience scores, so we can standardize their best practices across the entire system.

For instance, if one practice is alleviating patient frustration around wait times by performing regular rounding in the waiting room, we can share that success with all practices. Finally, the insights we gain through patient feedback and online reputation management help us reinforce the work of our dedicated physicians and reduce signs of burnout.

Want to make sure that your online reputation management strategy is designed for success? Contact Binary Fountain today to schedule a personalized demonstration of our reputation management platform.

About the Author

Brian Williams
Engagement Manager

Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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