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April 04, 2017

Reputation Management Best Practices – Patient Survey Success and Pitfalls to Avoid

By: Kayla Zamary

The need for reputation management is steadily growing as consumers head online to read and write reviews on patient experiences. As healthcare organizations look at different ways to improve patient care, it is vitally important for them to understand both patient experience and employee engagement. Enter digital patient surveys. We recently spoke with Kait Phillips…

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The need for reputation management is steadily growing as consumers head online to read and write reviews on patient experiences. As healthcare organizations look at different ways to improve patient care, it is vitally important for them to understand both patient experience and employee engagement. Enter digital patient surveys.

We recently spoke with Kait Phillips and Aksana Koch from Binary Fountain’s customer success team, who’ve been guiding clients through implementing and managing our reputation management solution, Binary Health Analytics. Here, they share their best practices for healthcare organizations adopting digital patient surveys as part of their reputation management strategy.

Hi Kait and Aksana. With so many online reviews and ratings available, could you please give us a little insight into why healthcare practices use surveys?

Kait: Surveys can give practices a different perspective. They offer more control with the kind of feedback you’re seeking from patients. Structured questions can evaluate specific patient experience criteria, like physician communications. You can also get feedback from open-ended questions, which can reveal valuable information.

Do you find that clients are using surveys at all? To what extent? What successes are you seeing happen and why?

Kait: Yes, clients are using surveys a lot and they’re really happy with the volume of feedback they’re getting. By asking patients for their feedback after a visit, practices often receive many more surveys than online reviews. They are also very successful at getting responses, typically with a 15-20% response rate.

Fairfax Radiology Consultants (FRC), for instance, has seen very positive results with surveys to help improve reputation and patient experience at their 17 outpatient imaging facilities. They are very focused on improving wait times, so they customize their surveys related to that issue. By doing so, they’ve achieved a 24% response rate, receiving 3,200 surveys per month. They use the insights gathered as part of their effort to achieve patient experience excellence.

Aksana: We’ve also seen great success when there is a raffle as part of an email campaign. New survey responders are entered monthly. This often increases response rates considerably.

What best practices can you share on surveys and email campaigns?

Kait: The most popular way to get surveys to patients is through email campaigns. Another option is to use a tablet or desktop computer at the front desk to offer point-of-care surveys to patients in the office.

Email surveys are sent at varying times, from daily to weekly. If we integrate with the client’s system, emails can be sent out daily, which is ideal because it usually increases the response rate, helping the practice consistently receive a sizeable amount of feedback.

Aksana: It’s also best practice to keep responses on the shorter side and focused on particular areas of concern. Our clients typically receive more responses if the survey doesn’t take too much time to complete.

We always recommend including unstructured comment sections in your surveys. While structured questions allow you to know if the patient had a good or bad experience, you won’t really know the reasoning behind their feedback and this can make all the difference in improving your organization’s reputation.

Are there any survey best practices for the organization itself?

Kait: Once patient surveys are in the system, it’s best to share the data at each staff meeting and focus on the positive feedback. Certainly mention any general areas of concern, but if there is negative feedback pertaining to a particular staff member, be sure to speak with them one-on-one in a private area.

Aksana: Staff engagement can certainly affect the patient experience. Many of our clients like to integrate monthly or quarterly awards for employees who receive the most positive feedback, such as a team lunch. This motivates staff to grasp the importance of the patient experience, the importance of following the best practices of their organization and emailing surveys to patients on a regular basis.

In terms of the tablet surveys, staff members need to make it a part of a structured, daily process to encourage patients to fill out a survey at the end of their visit.

What are the benefits of surveys through email campaigns and tablets?

Kait: Patients are more likely to fill out the open-ended feedback questions in email campaigns than when using tablet surveys in the office. We’ve seen several organizations post positive comments from those open-ended questions onto their physician pages as well.

Aksana: The benefit of the tablet survey method is the ability to focus on immediate service recovery. This allows you to receive patient responses before they have even left the practice. Alerts are sent to the practice administrator as soon as the survey is completed and if someone has had a negative experience, they can work to correct it right away and turn a negative experience into a positive one. With email surveys, you still can perform timely service recovery – particularly if you’re doing them daily. It just won’t be immediate.

What are promoter campaigns? How do they tie into surveys?

Kait: Promoter campaigns are great for organizations that really want to increase their online presence. They allow practices to send an email to patients with a one-question survey to rate their visit on a 10-point scale. If they rate their experience between a 9 or 10, they will be prompted to post an online review, typically on a third-party rating and review site. However, if they choose between a 0 or 8, they will be directed to additional survey questions so that the practice can receive more feedback to better understand what needs improvement.

How does Binary Fountain’s Natural Language Processing engine (NLP) help to organize all of the feedback clients receive?

Kait: The NLP will analyze any of the unstructured comments on surveys. It will break them down into different insights and assign the category and sentiment. Both negative and positive feedback is analyzed to help discover the practices’ strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, what pitfalls should organizations be sure to avoid when implementing digital surveys?

Kait: Having surveys with too many questions is a common pitfall we’ve seen. Surveys need to be concise, and not overly time-consuming in order to receive the greatest amount of feedback. Not uploading surveys regularly is another pitfall. They should be uploaded every week if not more frequently.

When using tablets, be sure the front desk staff members are asking patients to fill out your surveys. If they neglect to do this, you’re not very likely to get much feedback.

Aksana: In addition, within the Binary Fountain system, you can exclude certain patients from receiving repeat emails and preventing survey exhaustion for patients who frequently visit your practice.

No matter your distribution choice, digital surveys help organizations identify areas for improvement, can increase employee engagement and discover ways to enhance the patient experience.

Binary Fountain’s Binary Health Analytics platform makes your patient feedback powerful. By identifying patient insights from online reviews and surveys, organizations can uncover actionable insights unlocking the keys to productivity and performance and ultimately impacting patient experience.

If you have any questions for Kait and Aksana, please send them to marketing@binaryfountain.com.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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March 30, 2017

It’s National Doctor’s Day!

By: Kayla Zamary

National Doctor’s Day is here! Since 1933, each year on March 30th Americans celebrate the integral role physicians serve, and recognize their contributions to individual lives and communities. Healthcare organizations are celebrating everywhere. Privia Health celebrated in its “Happy National Doctor’s Day” blog post by including great patient reviews. UnityPoint Health embraced the national holiday by encouraging patients to send…

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National Doctor’s Day is here! Since 1933, each year on March 30th Americans celebrate the integral role physicians serve, and recognize their contributions to individual lives and communities.

Healthcare organizations are celebrating everywhere. Privia Health celebrated in its “Happy National Doctor’s Day” blog post by including great patient reviews. UnityPoint Health embraced the national holiday by encouraging patients to send thanks to their providers with a selection of online thank you cards. Signature Medical Group posted a patient testimonial video on their Facebook page.

Today, patients can thank their physicians any day of the year with a positive online review. As concerned as doctors can be about reviews, the fact is most of them are positive. Our recent blog post on physician engagement makes this point:

“When we started really digging into this and showing our providers what the solution would look like, we found thousands of wonderful comments about providers in the Press Ganey surveys that never saw the light of day,” explained Karina Jennings, AVP of Marketing at Providence Health & Services. “It was really exciting for us to start putting these out into the public to show how great and well-respected the providers are.”

“Soliciting patient feedback really highlights the good work our physicians do on a daily basis,” according to Chris Turnbull, MSc, public relations manager at Carilion Clinic.

Show your doctors that they’re appreciated: share their great patient reviews with them.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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March 28, 2017

Three Effective Practices for Physician Engagement

By: Zargham Ghani

“I got a bad review on ZocDoc… can you fix that?” We often hear from skeptical physicians who are concerned about online ratings or reviews. They’re uneasy how one unhappy patient may impact the entire practice, the actual validity of online reviews, and what value they offer to consumers, patients and families. A recent article on…

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“I got a bad review on ZocDoc… can you fix that?”

We often hear from skeptical physicians who are concerned about online ratings or reviews. They’re uneasy how one unhappy patient may impact the entire practice, the actual validity of online reviews, and what value they offer to consumers, patients and families. A recent article on PatientEngagementHIT.com reported, “Seventy-eight percent of providers say that online physician reviews cause them stress, despite the fact that about a half of patients think the reviews are useful,” according to a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The study went on to describe how “online physician reviews are becoming an increasingly widespread measure of patient satisfaction,” so despite the initial discomfort to some physicians, their value is undeniable in healthcare. The most successful online reputation management programs all have an important factor in common: strong physician engagement. Here are three effective strategies from our clients for engaging your physicians:

1. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Proactive and consistent communication to all physicians from the outset can help allay concerns and drive engagement. Highlighting the program’s value and how it works, as well as educating them on reviews and how physicians can play an active role in their own reviews will help advance your cause. Sharing a case study on how a healthcare organization successfully managed their program can provide needed validation.

When Providence Health and Services (PH&S) initiated their transparency program, they knew communications was vital. 100 percent physician participation —no opt-outs allowed — was critical to the success of the program. Anticipating that physicians would express concerns about patient comments being posted online, they held forums to let doctors ask questions.

2. Docs Love Data and Data Empowers Change

Doctors are overachievers and competitive by nature. They’re taught to rely on empirical evidence, data and outcomes. As I mentioned, physicians can be skeptical of online reviews; some aren’t aware of any patient experience issues. This is when patient experience metrics become an eye opener.

These metrics not only identify where doctors need to improve – they incentivize them to make changes for the better. Sharing reports that rank physicians within the practices can spark their competitive side – nobody wants to be at the bottom of the reviews page with the lowest score. You may have a brilliant orthopedic doctor, but suppose he or she doesn’t score well in physician communications. At Kure Pain Management, a very talented physician went from lowest scoring to top scoring doctor at the practice by implementing personal changes based on findings in the patient experience report he received.

Patient experience data isn’t just a game changer – it’s a behavior changer.

3. Encourage Your Physicians to Participate in the Review Process

For transparency initiatives, we recommend internally sharing survey feedback with providers before starting the initiative. Providers often learn that they have much better scores and comments from the survey data. It’s a motivating factor for them to have this information posted on their provider webpages. “When we started really digging into this and showing our providers what the solution would look like, we found thousands of wonderful comments about providers in the Press Ganey surveys that never saw the light of day,” explained Karina Jennings, AVP of Marketing at PH&S. “It was really exciting for us to start putting these out into the public to show how great and well-respected the providers are.”

To give physicians a more hands-on approach of previewing their comments, we recommend implementing an internal “soft launch”. Providers get access to the solution at a read-only level to see what patients are saying about their care, helping them become more engaged in the process. In addition, developing an internal review committee for the program is important for ensuring providers that patient comments will be vetted for publishing online. We suggest creating guidelines that allow physicians to appeal comments to the committee based on their validity. This gives physicians a voice in the process.

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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March 07, 2017

Uncovering Insights in Digital Patient Feedback

By: Andrew Rainey

Patient Feedback Challenges Historically patient experience was measured solely with CAHPS surveys. Now that’s changed. Whether you work for a hospital, physician practice, ambulatory surgical center or another type of healthcare organization, patient feedback is now scattered across multiple sources including online reviews, social media, patient surveys and even call center data. The challenge is…

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Patient Feedback Challenges

Historically patient experience was measured solely with CAHPS surveys. Now that’s changed. Whether you work for a hospital, physician practice, ambulatory surgical center or another type of healthcare organization, patient feedback is now scattered across multiple sources including online reviews, social media, patient surveys and even call center data. The challenge is how do you make sense of all this information. Buried within these open-ended comments are meaningful insights that can be used to improve the patient experience and your organization’s reputation.

The evidence is there. At Binary Fountain, we’ve analyzed nearly 10 million reviews to date – and uncovered over 40 million insights – and the numbers continue to grow 44% annually, according to our internal research. The need to quickly analyze feedback at scale becomes more vital. You need to trend on this data as well as quickly drill down into the details to identify issues that need to be resolved. Even the online reviews and surveys one practice receives can be overwhelming to manage – and it can impact their business. So what’s the strategy you need to adopt to gain value from patient feedback?

Arm Yourself with Healthcare-specific NLP.

So what is natural language processing (NLP)? As scientific as it sounds, NLP uncovers meaningful insights from everyday language that can be found in millions of online reviews, surveys and other sources. Identifying and analyzing keywords and phrases in unstructured comments, along with the context of how they’re being used, can reveal useful information. NLP is one of the most powerful tools a system can use to understand and act on the patient experience.

When we evaluated the market, the NLP tools we came across were created to work across multiple industries. Patients are unique consumers so a one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work well when it comes to understanding their voice. There are valuable lessons learned from other industries, but feedback provided about a physician or specialist requires a more targeted NLP, not one that also analyzes reviews about Bob’s Auto Shop, J. Crew or McDonald’s.

We took the approach of creating a healthcare-centric NLP from the ground up to understand the nuances of healthcare language, starting with 37 patient experience categories serving as the foundation. Among these categories, insights from comments could be related to Timely Care (“waited over 30 minutes…”), Helps Patient Understand (“Doctor took time to explain new medication…”) Overall Experience (They take great care of our family…”), for example, while revealing their sentiment. It even lets you drill down into the root cause of the issue, helping make this information actionable. For a healthcare system or practice, if front desk staff is receiving bad reviews they’ll want to dig deeper to identify the issue causing it – and fix it. Ultimately, they want to know “the why” behind a three-star or five-star review, which is truly valuable.

Taking Action.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to build patient loyalty and create a better patient experience. Engaging your patients online or offline is key. Timely service recovery on a patient complaint could turn a bad review into a better one. It can also be a learning moment, helping you identify where you need to improve. Healthcare organizations like  Signature Medical Group are exemplary when it comes to making this data actionable, and their patient experience scores and reputation management programs have improved as a result.

Online Reviews Correlate to HCAHPS.

What we have learned along the way is the value of online reviews. We recently performed a study of 105 hospitals across 19 states and discovered a strong, positive correlation (0.54 coefficient) between patient feedback scores calculated from unstructured online reviews and HCAHPS Top Box scores (overall rating domain).

Understand What’s Important to Your Patients.

The answers toward improving the patient experience are in front of you. You already have a wealth of patient feedback, and as I mentioned before, you need to make sense of it. It’s about taking the next step, and you need tools created specifically for the healthcare environment to have a positive, meaningful impact on the patient experience. Having a comprehensive view of patient metrics and insights can help you achieve valuable competitive advantages. Many healthcare organizations are already benchmarking their performance against other healthcare organizations. Healthcare is trending toward the consumer experience and the health systems that embrace this shift will find themselves winning new patients and building long-term loyalty.

Interested in finding out how to optimize – or initialize – your online reputation management or patient experience analytics program?
Contact Binary Fountain today to request a personalized demonstration of our comprehensive reputation management platform.

About the Author

Andrew Rainey
EVP of Strategy & Corporate Development

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March 03, 2017

Snapshot of Jarrard Inc.’s Critical Patient Experience Research

By: George LaDue

With digital consumerism disrupting healthcare, the patient experience is expanding past the walls of care. Online reviews by patients have been increasing 44% annually according to our own data and 84% of consumers are using this information to help select their provider. Consequently, health systems across the U.S. are under increasing pressure to improve the…

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With digital consumerism disrupting healthcare, the patient experience is expanding past the walls of care. Online reviews by patients have been increasing 44% annually according to our own data and 84% of consumers are using this information to help select their provider. Consequently, health systems across the U.S. are under increasing pressure to improve the experience they provide patients.

As a result, Jarrard Inc. and the Phillips Cate & Hancock firm set out to do some research. The healthcare strategic communications and engagement firm recently released their latest findings on patient experience in healthcare, titled Patient Experience 2.0: Expanding Your Horizons. In their national research project, the firm explored the patient experience and satisfaction at some of the country’s top hospitals and health systems.

Patient experience is certainly at the forefront when it comes to how hospitals are addressing changes in how care is being delivered. Jarrard’s research showed that 85 percent of healthcare systems believe that patient experience is one of the top three priorities for their organization. And 64 percent of organizations reported seeing an increase in patient acquisition since starting patient experience initiatives. However, only 35 percent of healthcare practices are publishing patient reviews on their websites. It is clear that becoming more transparent could be the starting point for a patient experience initiative and one of the best ways for organizations to increase patient satisfaction.

The study also made it exceedingly clear that improving HCAHPS scores alone won’t cut it anymore. Healthcare systems that don’t adopt a consumer-driven mindset are likely already behind the curve and may fall behind on loyalty and acquisition of new patients. They must develop custom strategies that fit their organization’s and patients’ needs and values.

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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February 28, 2017

Webinar Review: How to Make an Online Physician Ratings & Review Program a Reality

By: Kayla Zamary

Recently, Karina Jennings, AVP Marketing, and Sunita Mishra, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Innovation at Providence Health and Services (PH&S), presented a webinar entitled, “How to Make an Online Physician Ratings & Review Program a Reality.” In case you missed it, here’s part of what we learned from Karina and Sunita: PH&S is the fourth largest…

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Recently, Karina Jennings, AVP Marketing, and Sunita Mishra, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Innovation at Providence Health and Services (PH&S), presented a webinar entitled, “How to Make an Online Physician Ratings & Review Program a Reality.” In case you missed it, here’s part of what we learned from Karina and Sunita:

PH&S is the fourth largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. In 2014, the organization partnered with Binary Fountain to develop an online physician ratings and review program, and launched a pilot in two markets in January 2015. Today, the program is deployed across the PH&S system over five states and four brands, providing patients with information on more than 1,800 physicians and generating approximately 5,500 comments per month.

With the help of Binary Fountain, PH&S gathers Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG CAHPS) data from Press Ganey surveys, and aggregates ratings from the previous 12 months for providers with a minimum of 30 ratings. Here’s a high-level overview of PH&S manages its publishing of online ratings and reviews:

  1. Press Ganey collects verified patient survey data;
  2. Binary Fountain pulls monthly data from Press Ganey;
  3. The Binary Fountain platform generates physician star ratings;
  4. Reviewers access Binary Fountain to approve, edit or reject comments; and
  5. Physician profiles are updated from the Binary Fountain platform into PH&S’s content management system.

While PH&S attempts to post all patient comments regardless of sentiment, including written remarks, the team edits for inappropriate language and Protected Health Information (PHI) to protect patient privacy. This system has been proven to boost Google search results over Healthgrades and Vitals, increase online physician profile traffic, and even generate more positive physician reviews.

Generating System-wide Support and Expansion

The marketing team at PH&S understood that healthcare consumers are doing more of their own research when selecting a provider and that complete transparency is key. They used this knowledge as they expanded their online physician ratings and review program. The team also realized that they had no control over what patients post on third-party sites, and that partnering with Binary Fountain to publish Press Ganey survey data would help amplify positive reviews and search optimization. On average, third-party sites have fewer reviews and lower star ratings than CG CAHPS data, and Press Ganey ensures that all reviewers are verified patients.

PH&S included every physician in their ratings and review program without exception. However, only those with at least 30 ratings had their ratings and reviews posted on their physician profile. To help alleviate concerns and encourage physician engagement, the team provided a forum to let doctors ask questions and preview what the system would look like prior to going live.

Today, almost 82 percent of provider directory website traffic originates from organic search, and PH&S’s search optimization strategy has increased its online presence. Furthermore, rankings, ratings and comments have increased click-through rates by 98 percent.

After launching the program, the average increase in page views for physicians without reviews was five percent, but those with star ratings saw an increase in page views by 25 to 29 percent respectively for general practitioners and specialists.

To learn more, listen to the recorded version of this webinar or read the case study.

Contact a Binary Fountain expert today to request a personalized demonstration of Binary Fountain’s reputation management and transparency solutions.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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February 16, 2017

Striving Toward a World Class Patient Experience with Digital Patient Feedback

By: Kayla Zamary

Insights from digital patient surveys can help healthcare organizations plan their next moves in the journey towards creating a world-class patient experience. This month, we spoke with Nick LaRosa, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kure Pain Management, about the organization’s recent push to get patient feedback via surveys using the Binary Health Analytics platform….

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Insights from digital patient surveys can help healthcare organizations plan their next moves in the journey towards creating a world-class patient experience.

This month, we spoke with Nick LaRosa, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kure Pain Management, about the organization’s recent push to get patient feedback via surveys using the Binary Health Analytics platform. Here, Nick gives us insights into the initial challenges they faced and what they’ve since been able to successfully accomplish.

Hi Nick, can you give us a little background on what drove the need for this initiative around patient feedback? 

We knew we wanted to deliver excellent customer service across our seven healthcare centers but we didn’t have an effective way to measure patient experience. We had no idea how our customer service processes were performing and we believed we were at risk of losing a large number of patients. So we sought out a solution to help us better understand how we were performing and what specific changes we needed to make to become a world-class organization.

What steps did you take to address those needs and get this initiative going?

Once we identified the Binary Health Analytics platform, we immediately saw it as a crucial tool to helping us gain patient feedback, benchmark and track progress.

We had previously been using iPads to conduct post-care patient surveys, and this was a very time-consuming process. So, we began the initiative by switching to digital patient surveys through email campaigns with Binary Health Analytics, which greatly improved time management with office staff. And once the data and feedback started coming in, we uncovered significant patient concerns and immediately began addressing them.

What challenges did you face along the way? How did you address them?

There was some initial pushback from physicians and others throughout Kure. They didn’t think there were any issues, and they assumed the organization was doing a great job at patient satisfaction. However, to our good fortune, using Binary Fountain’s platform helped us reveal and share insights on how patients were really feeling. It was a definite eye-opener.

To address adoption, I started forwarding the negative surveys to highlight what pain points the organization or specific physicians needed to tackle. At that point, everyone in the organization agreed there were indeed issues that needed to be addressed. Moving forward, we celebrated positive reviews together and held staff accountable for negative reviews, while motivating them to improve.

How is this initiative impacting the organization?

This initiative has brought about positive results for our organization. It has helped us greatly improve customer service by educating staff members and introducing better-quality processes. This has significantly increased patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Measurable data is really giving us the drive and baseline to improve the customer lifecycle. For instance, one physician really wanted to see his patient experience scores and feedback. He was a brilliant doctor, but his scores didn’t fare so well in the customer service category. Once he was aware of the areas he needed to improve upon, he went from the lowest scoring physician at the practice to the top scoring doctor by implementing personal changes.

The fact that surveys and scores are being circulated throughout the organization keeps physicians accountable and creates a friendly competition to be the best.

What have the outcomes been to date?

Since implementing this initiative over nine months ago, the digital patient surveys have helped to significantly improve our online reviews and scores by about 95 percent. Kure Pain Management’s Yelp review score went up 110 percent for example, and our GooglePlus score increased by 314 percent.

All in all, positive online reviews have increased over 30 percent, while negative reviews have gone down by more than 60 percent. We’ve also seen a huge increase in patient experience scores, where patient loyalty went up about 35 percent and timely care scores soared over 100 percent.

And finally, what has Binary Fountain’s technology platform helped you do?

The Binary Health Analytics platform has allowed us to measure how we do as a business and provides precise direction on how we can successfully continue forward. We’ve been able to track performance with automated reports, communicate internally and develop our staff. It’s also helped improve staff time management, decrease patient wait times and even reduce spending across the organization. We’re striving to become world class and Binary Health Analytics is helping us get there.

The platform has helped us improve our reputation and the brand image of Kure Pain Management by increasing transparency throughout the organization as well as with our patients.

To learn more about how Binary Health Analytics can help improve your organization, contact us at marketing@binaryfountain.com.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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February 09, 2017

Reputation Management Best Practices – Digital Surveys & Negative Reviews

By: Zargham Ghani

In Part 1 of our Reputation Management Best Practices interview we spoke with Kait Phillips and Aksana Koch, from Binary Fountain’s Customer Success team, about what advice they would give on engaging online reviews as a part of a successful healthcare reputation management strategy. In Part 2, they go a little further into best practices,…

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In Part 1 of our Reputation Management Best Practices interview we spoke with Kait Phillips and Aksana Koch, from Binary Fountain’s Customer Success team, about what advice they would give on engaging online reviews as a part of a successful healthcare reputation management strategy.

In Part 2, they go a little further into best practices, giving us their expert tips on digital healthcare surveys, expanding on strategies for responding to extremely negative reviews, and sharing how to begin your own reputation management program.

Q: In Part 1, you gave us your recommendations for responding to negative and positive reviews. What do you recommend doing when a patient posts a review with possible legal implications, for example?

Kait: For reviews that have legal implications, such as containing PHI, libel, we advise engaging the legal department immediately. They can provide instruction on how to proceed, reach out to the patient about their issue and request the comment be removed. It’s important to address the issue promptly and take the conversation with the patient offline.

Aksana: We also recommend our clients set up notifications for these type of reviews, based on keywords. So if someone threatens legal action against a physician in a review, the practices’ legal department will be notified immediately.

Q: The Binary Health Analytics Platform provides healthcare providers a complete view into managing patient feedback, not only on online reviews and ratings, but surveys as well. Why and when should a healthcare organization use surveys?

Aksana: Healthcare surveys are essential in helping organizations understand the elements of care that patients value. A well-crafted patient survey can thoroughly assess the patient’s experience and provide solid, accurate data to be used in development of change initiatives. Ultimately, a questionnaire can improve the quality of treatment while simultaneously increasing the financial profitability of the hospital.

The standard government mandated HCAHPS and CG-CAHPS surveys ask a series of questions that cover everything from access, communication quality from the doctor, environment of care, nurse care, medication teaching quality, to discharge instruction, and beyond. They are distributed by a patient experience advisory company like Press Ganey, the top survey providers in the healthcare industry. They manage the entire process from reaching out to the hospital to have the survey done to collecting the data and reporting back it to the hospital. That information is then reported to the government for the 2 percent reimbursement that is tied to the surveys.

Kait: With the Binary Health Analytics platform, our clients can run campaigns and surveys to help them understand their strengths and where they need to improve. If they give their experience a low score, the intelligent platform continues with the survey questions in order for the organization to better understand how they can improve in the future. If the score goes below an acceptable rating, the practice manager, patient experience or marketing professional can immediately be notified so they can quickly follow up and perform service recovery.

Q: Finally, do you have any advice for practices that are beginning their own reputation management program?

Aksana: Certainly! Start promoting your online presence to patients and encourage them to engage with your practice on social media. We always recommend for our clients to claim their pages, such as their Yelp, and ask customers to leave reviews on them. It’s vital that healthcare organization take control of these. Definitely reach out to your loyal, happy patients! It can help build your brand and your healthcare organization.

Kait: I recommend auditing your current reputation when you start. The old saying you can’t manage what you can’t measure applies here. And there’s increasing demand on marketing to show ROI. Establishing a baseline will help you understand where you stand, how you’re improving over time, and serves as a source to prove success as you work toward managing your reputation.

Binary Fountain’s leading technology platform helps healthcare organizations to create a profitable patient experience for their organization by spearheading the online reputation management movement through patient feedback from online ratings, reviews, social media and surveys.

If you have any questions for Kait and Aksana, please send your questions to marketing@binaryfountain.com.

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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January 31, 2017

Reputation Management Best Practices – Responding to Reviews

By: John McFeely

In the healthcare industry, the need for reputation management is steadily growing. Healthcare consumers are increasingly writing online reviews about their patient experiences as well as looking to others’ reviews to guide their own physician choices. We recently spoke with Kait Phillips and Aksana Koch from Binary Fountain’s customer success team, who’ve been guiding clients…

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In the healthcare industry, the need for reputation management is steadily growing. Healthcare consumers are increasingly writing online reviews about their patient experiences as well as looking to others’ reviews to guide their own physician choices.

We recently spoke with Kait Phillips and Aksana Koch from Binary Fountain’s customer success team, who’ve been guiding clients through implementing and managing our reputation management solution, Binary Health Analytics, about the best practices for healthcare organizations when implementing a successful reputation management strategy.

Q: Hi Kait and Aksana. Could you please give us a little overview about the patterns you’ve seen in healthcare patient reviews?

Aksana: We’ve found that people usually post positive reviews within a couple days of their visit. However, negative reviews vary much more in timing. They might be submitted by a patient while he or she is experiencing a long wait at their physician’s office or weeks later when a billing issue arises.

Kait: Another trend we’ve seen is that reviews continue to increase in number particularly when the practice regularly engages and responds to patient feedback. When prospective patients see that the practice is listening to feedback and responding, it encourages further customer engagement.

Q: Who typically responds to patient reviews on physician online ratings and reviews sites?

Aksana: For hospitals or practices we usually recommend finding a practice manager or a marketing manager to oversee all of the incoming reviews and respond to them online.

Kait: Yes, and for smaller clients it’s commonly a more centralized approach, where someone from the corporate marketing department will respond to patient reviews.

Q: What are your recommendations for responding to reviews?

Kait: We definitely recommend responding to both positive and negative reviews within two to three business days. If the review is negative, it’s best to reach out to the patient and provide them a way to contact the patient relations specialist or practice manager rather than resolving the issue publicly online. This avoids engaging in public conversations that could reveal Protected Health Information (PHI), or draw unwanted attention to the issue before you have a chance to seek resolution with your patient.

In the Binary Health Analytics platform, our clients can set up templated responses for different types of reviews. You don’t want to be seen always writing the same responses word for word to every customer, but you also want to keep them relatively generic. Again, carefully prepared, non-specific responses protect against revealing PHI, helping mitigate risk and respecting the patient. Corporate and legal teams can help to decide how the marketing department or assigned respondent should reply to negative and positive comments and what type of language should be used.

Aksana: Some practices may only respond if the rating given is under three stars, however we suggest acknowledging all reviews. You should even engage with patients who leave glowing, positive reviews and thank them for choosing your practice.

Q: Why is it so important to engage with online reviews?

Aksana: It’s very important for prospective patients to see that the practice is responding to patient reviews, both positive and negative ones. It shines a better light on that practice if potential customers can see that someone is reading the reviews and is concerned about patients’ experiences.

Kait: Yes, it’s important to be accessible and encourage an environment of openness and transparency with clients.

Also, when a patient leaves a negative review, the marketing manager or patient experience manager can address the concern and reach out to the patient in order to turn a negative experience into a positive one. In cases like this, we frequently see patients come back to the negative review they previously left, and update it with a positive response indicating that their issue had been resolved and praising the practice for their customer service. Prospective patients will see these exchanges and appreciate that your practice is patient-centered and concerned about their well-being, as well as their satisfaction.

If you have any questions for Kait and Aksana, please send them to marketing@binaryfountain.com.

About the Author

John McFeely
Sales Director

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January 27, 2017

Webinar Recap: The Impact of First Impressions on Patient Acquisition and Revenue

By: Andrew Rainey

Recently, Carrie Liken, Head of Industry Healthcare at Yext, and I co-presented on the impact of first impressions on patient acquisition and revenue. In case you missed it, here are some tips for understanding the importance of online data, and ratings and reviews on the patient journey. Create an Online Strategy to Improve Patient Acquisition…

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Recently, Carrie Liken, Head of Industry Healthcare at Yext, and I co-presented on the impact of first impressions on patient acquisition and revenue. In case you missed it, here are some tips for understanding the importance of online data, and ratings and reviews on the patient journey.

Create an Online Strategy to Improve Patient Acquisition

As John Weston, former chief marketing officer of the Mayo Clinic, commented “The consumer-to-patient journey is largely a digital journey at their moment of need.”  So paying attention to first online impressions is crucial. When patients “meet you” for the first time online, they’re assessing your practice and your doctors. That information can influence their decision to pick up the phone and make an appointment with you, or keep searching. Keep in mind, they’re just as likely to find out about you from a third-party website as they are from your own profile pages, so you need to stay on top of patient reviews and the accuracy of information affecting your brand wherever it exists.

How’s this affecting physician choice? We’re starting to hear from clients who tell us that patients are not always ready to take their doctor’s first referral to a specialist. With rising health insurance premiums, patients are shopping for plans that provide the most value and are becoming better-educated consumers. They’re doing much of their own research online when selecting a new provider, and they have more choices today than ever before. What are they looking for when selecting a provider? They want to know if the provider is nearby, takes their insurance, specializes in their medical need and is recommended by other patients.

Engage Patients Through Transparency

Inaction is no longer an acceptable alternative to a solid reputation management strategy. You need to own and control your practice or health system brand on and off your online properties (this includes search engines, maps, social media and review sites). You also want to create a baseline for your online reputation—e.g., where do you stand today so you can gauge and measure where you stand six months or a year from now?

To boost your online presence, don’t forget to turn your CAHPS surveys into online ratings and reviews. You’re already collecting this information, so transform it into star ratings after you’ve approved the comments—the negatives as well as the positives—and you’ll see an immediate impact on your online presence and reputation. This allows you to take control and gives your listings a better chance to rank number one in a patient’s search results.

One of our clients reported a 25 percent increase in page views for their primary care providers with star ratings, and a 29 percent increase in page views for specialty care providers with star ratings. Plus, insights from online reviews help improve the patient experience – 85 percent of this provider’s patients found comments shared by other patients to be helpful.

The Power of Accurate Data

When patients uncover inaccurate information about a provider – the office has moved or a particular physician no longer practices there – they often blame the provider instead of the website where they found the information, even if it’s not your site. Yes, it’s a challenge to manage everything that’s being said about you on every third-party website, but there are potentially huge consequences if you don’t.

When Yext visited a health system recently, they reviewed the system’s location data to see if patients could find their cardiology practice. The information they found on Google and Yahoo, for example, showed that cardiology practice two-and-a-half miles away from the actual location.

Let’s say that cardiology practice charges $100 per patient visit (and probably a lot more), and suppose they have two patient no-shows per day because of that inaccurate location information. The lost revenue to that health system is a minimum of $50,000 per year.

Through a robust strategy that aims for transparency, rich listings and accurate data, your practices will make a much stronger first impression. In the age of healthcare consumerism, these initiatives will help your practices drive more acquisitions, improve patient experience and nurture a better bottom line.

To receive a full recording of this webinar, or for a personal demonstration of our online reputation management solutions, contact a Binary Fountain expert today.

About the Author

Andrew Rainey
EVP of Strategy & Corporate Development

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