We all make dozens of decisions a day, many of which are informed by data. From the recommended products we buy on Amazon to precision cancer treatments, data serves as the foundation to many of the choices we make. However, even when we’re surrounded by data, it isn’t always accessible. Many of today’s patients, for example, are acting more like savvy consumers and are conducting research on providers before booking an appointment.
However, health systems struggle to present rich data on providers to consumers—data that helps them make informed healthcare decisions. The reason? Oftentimes it’s the result of poor provider data management. Frequently, health system websites present consumers with inconsistent, sometimes inaccurate, and incomplete provider information. And when patients encounter inaccurate provider information, such as insurances accepted, the experience leaves them feeling frustrated and increases the likelihood that they will search for care elsewhere.
For health systems, effectively managing provider data is not only important for improving the patient experience, but also for becoming the trusted source for provider information—thereby building equity with consumers searching for care. And with so many consumers going online to search for providers, health systems have an opportunity to attract them online with a robust provider finder and provide rich information that helps to convert demand. Here’s how:
Attract Online Consumers: 59% of traffic to health systems’ websites starts with an internet search. For this reason, it is imperative that health systems leverage provider data strategically on their website to rank highly in search engines. For example, by leveraging structured data on provider profile pages, search engines can more readily identify the contents of the page. And with rich information like patient ratings and reviews, search engines deem the site as active, helping to boost rankings even higher. Rich provider data can populate page titles (e.g., specialty and location), engage online patients through informative metadata and boost SEO—all dependent on reliable data.
Convert Patient Demand: Robust provider profiles are critical to attracting prospective patients to your website - ⅔ of whom will conduct research online before booking an appointment. While information like insurances accepted and a provider’s clinical enterprise remain extremely important criteria for consumers, they are looking for even more information, like availability information and ratings and reviews, to convert. When consumers can find the information they are looking for online and it is both accurate and comprehensive, they are more empowered to make informed decisions about their care, and more likely to book an appointment.
Retain Patients in Network: Patients are waiting longer than ever to see the right provider—in fact, wait times have increased 30% since 2014—and in some cases, when information about providers is sparse, patients are unknowingly waiting to see a doctor who isn’t clinically appropriate for their case. When access center agents, consumers, and referring providers make decisions using unreliable data, the likelihood of provider-patient mismatching increases, in turn raising the likelihood that patients will seek care elsewhere. Provider data management provides patients, agents, and referring providers alike, visibility into a health system’s provider network, helping to increase matching appropriateness and decrease patient leakage.
To learn more about how your health system can leverage provider data management to attract, retain, and convert patient demand, download our white paper.