As competition for network referrals increases, health systems, their physicians, marketing and referral management teams seek opportunities to improve their online search capability. While accurate provider data is a critical foundation for all referral management and provider search efforts, the more information that is available about a provider, the more likely it is that a successful referral will be obtained.
In today’s world where instant-access to online information is expected, obtaining demographic, practice scope, insurance and contact information about a provider, along with a photo, is no longer adequate. At a minimum today, information about educational qualifications, languages spoken, clinical focus and research, treatments provided, industry relationships and collaborations, and a link to map-based directions to practice locations should be available. In addition, video profiles that personalize information and instructional videos that simplify the visit can improve consumer satisfaction and engagement.
Online provider search tools are not new and have been broadly implemented to varying degrees of success. Serving the needs of referring physicians and evolving online consumer behaviors are growing challenges to healthcare systems. They are well served to scrutinize their existing solutions and determine whether efforts in these areas will benefit from a unified approach to ensuring accurate and comprehensive provider data. Improving the effectiveness of physician referrals and physician outreach has a high return-on-investment.