Managing Providers like Products - The Digital Catalog and Intelligent Provider Search

By Keith Belton | February 26, 2019

 

data quality

As we leave February, it’s worth highlighting learnings from two recent HIT conferences – HIMSS19 and the 37th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.  [HIMSS attendees are IT leaders focused on evaluating technologies and checking in on strategic vendors; the J.P. Morgan conference focuses on healthcare investment opportunities.]  Any common themes across the two conferences is a certifiable trend.  We’ll treat the first in this piece; others will follow.

Consumerism was front and center at both HIMSS & the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. HIMSS held an entire track on the topic.  The HIMSS session title – Consumerism of Health – suggests a change imposed on hospitals reluctant to adopt the behavior of marketeers at, say, Best Buy.  But presentations such as Digital Traction in Consumerization of Healthcare and Going Retail were well attended. No less than the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Director of Digital Health offered a presentation on their health system’s approach to an attentive (however reluctant) audience.

Similarly, Becker’s Healthcare’s well-written summary of the J. P. Morgan conference expressed the urgent need of health systems to become digitally patient-friendly this way: “Create a digital front door (or someone else will).”  The implication?  The days of a poorly-maintained website with incomplete provider data are over. 

But where should health systems begin?  Quick answer:  Take a page from the digital consumer playbook – manage your providers like products, via a digital catalog, for effective provider search.  

Take it from Amazon – it’s all about the search.  Every purchase on Amazon’s website starts with a search.  Unless Amazon has a high-quality product catalog continuously maintained (product names, description, reviews, prices, availability), customers wouldn’t find products they need; they’d instantly look somewhere else.

Below is a good visual that Phynd created – applying Amazon-like thinking to the challenge of better provider search.  As you’re starting to think about the concept of your ‘digital provider catalog, the visual may help you flush out the provider data requirements you need to support your winning digital strategy.

provider.search

As health systems and provider networks digitally market their providers highlighting the breadth and quality of care each provider can deliver – it’s critical that they include up-to-date provider information on the dimensions that patients rely on to choose and schedule a provider visit. 

How do you know if you’ve covered the right dimensions?   Ask your digital team the following questions about your Find a Doctor website and other search portals:

  1. Do we know who our providers are?
  2. Do we know the locations where they work?
  3. What are our providers’ clinical interests
  4. Do we know what networks they are in?
  5. Do we know what commercial payors’ products they accept?
  6. What providers and locations have open inventory?

Those are a good start.

We’ve had some experience in helping health systems build that catalog (we can save you lots of time, as our data model answers covers all of the provider attributes above). 

Want to chat with us about how to help you get there?  Click below, provide us a little information, and we’ll be in touch. 

Chat with a provider management expert today

Topics: enterprise provider data management, high quality provider data, provider information management, HIMSS

Keith Belton

Written by Keith Belton

Keith oversees Phynd’s marketing programs. He previously headed the Dragon Medical line of business at Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) and was VP of Marketing for Eclipsys (now part of Allscripts – NASDAQ: MDRX). He also ran product management for IDEXX’s EHR software business (NASDAQ: IDXX). Keith is a graduate of Haverford College.

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