Physicians and consumers who use the “Find A Doctor” search platform on a healthcare systems’ website expect that the information it yields will be not only accurate but also complete. Unfortunately, the accuracy and breadth of information available from these provider search tools, is often limited because the marketing data is separate from that used by clinical and financial systems. This can hurt top line revenue through reduced patient engagement and lost referrals.Physicians will use this information to make decisions about where to send patients for a variety of care referral services including specialized testing, follow-up or subspecialty care. If the information is inaccurate, it makes the physician who recommended that provider for their referral look incompetent. It can leave patients frustrated at a time when their priority concern should be their health. Worse, it can delay the delivery of proper and urgently needed care.
Healthcare consumers are more likely to be satisfied, and a referral gained, when they can quickly and easily find a doctor or caregiver using easy to understand search terms and are presented with a comprehensive range of actionable information.
A holistic approach to capturing, managing and leveraging accurate provider data is critical for meeting the demands of healthcare consumerism and value-base care initiatives. Maximizing the effectiveness of online provider search tools for both referring physicians and healthcare consumers is an investment that can quickly pay for itself by improving the effectiveness of physician referral and community outreach efforts.