It’s go-to-market (GTM) time for health systems in this era of increasing consumerism. All regional health care is a zero-sum game as competitors seek to maximize new patient visits, maintain patients in-network, and gain market share. Effective digital marketing to patients is now a critical success factor: nearly 85% of patients who research a health system use both online and offline resources. “Find a Doctor” has become as synonymous as Google Search.
Emulating successful consumer-driven marketeers is a good model. Amazon.com’s strategy is to reach all customers via a friendly web-based buying experience with high buying rates per visit. But unless Amazon has high-quality product information continuously maintained on its website (product names, product description, reviews, prices, availability), it’s marketing performance will be suboptimal. Customers won’t find the products they need, or worse – they order products that don’t meet their needs – price, location, or timeframe.
Let’s return to healthcare. Pop quiz: what’s your product? Answer: your providers. They are exactly what you must effectively organize and market to target customers – both patients and referring providers. Health systems must have all relevant data about your product – your providers – online, so you should keep all provider information update, accurate, and searchable by patients and referring providers alike. Without it, no network can take their product – their providers – successfully to market.
Investments in provider data that feed your digital marketing platform should be a key element of your GTM plan.
The Provider Information Test: Better Digital Marketing
As health systems digitally market the breadth and quality of care they can deliver, it’s critical that they include up-to-date provider information…on the dimensions that help patients choose and schedule a provider visit.
How do you know if you have the right information? There’s a very simple test. Ask your marketing team the following questions about your Find a Doctor website and other search portals:
- Do we know who our providers are?
- Do we know the locations where they work?
- What are your providers’ clinical interests?
- Do we know what networks they serve – which networks they are in (and out) of?
- Is this information readily at hand and shareable to marketing, patient access, revenue cycle, provider liaison, and other teams that require it?
- What providers and locations have open inventory?
Why is satisfying these questions critical? Without having provider locations (and “locations” is a key requirement – many doctors work at multiple locations), health plans they take, clinical interests, the networks they serve, and available inventory. Absent this information – or if the information is inaccurate or not current – and patients just might walk across to the clinic across the street…which participates in in a different network.
Health care systems meet patient expectations only if the provider detail is above readily searchable on your Find a Doctor website. Just like Amazon.com.
In the digital marketing age, improving key marketing indicators -- maximizing website visit-to-schedule rates, abandonment rates, new appointment growth, no show rates, and patient Net Promoter Scores…should be a continuous focus of your marketing plan and operations.
The goal is to have a real-time, always-up-to-date, 360° view of your providers to ensure search results close the loop with consumers every time…for a better patient digital experience. Most health systems have multiple gaps in provider information requirements because their provider data is not based on a rich provider data model.
We can help you ensure that you can answer this simple test.