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Thought Leadership Trends

According to a post-pandemic Press Ganey survey, increased digital consumerism is shifting expectations and preferences for healthcare experiences.  Now, communications and customer service are just as important as quality care.

Online reviews are becoming increasingly more influential to “shopping” behavior as a baseline for quality with consumers avoiding providers and practices that aren’t demonstrating positive patient experiences.  Not surprisingly, because more than 50% of patients turn to the web when choosing a new primary care provider (PCP), the most important deciding factors are ratings and reviews. Even for referrals, as much as 84% of patients decline to see a referred provider with a rating under 4 stars.

Ease of experience is also influencing their choice.  With an increasing number of patients scheduling appointments online, and 48% saying the ability to do so impacted their decision to choose one healthcare provider over another, reducing any friction in the appointment scheduling process not only helps increase access and convenience for patients, it can also address gaps in scheduling for providers.

To best connect with more digitally forward healthcare consumers, lean into the following three key areas to address heightened patient expectations and increasingly digital preferences:

1. Prioritize managing your reputation online.

Proactive online reputation management can help identify operational improvement opportunities that improve ranking, attract patients in the “shopping” experience, and improve conversion.

Formalizing an effective Online Reputation Management (ORM) practice means investing in ongoing outreach to patients for feedback to:

  • Increase review volume and grow credibility of feedback
  • Inform operational areas of improvement (managing negative feedback)
  • Improve ranking in search results across access points
  • Increase likelihood of conversion by outperforming competitors

Consider incorporating an ORM resource like Podium to help automate review requests (multiplatform review opportunities provide the most value), reduce the impact of negative reviews and engage and retain episodic and chronic care patients.

2. Enhance your “webside” manner. 

Using live, AI-enabled or connected chat functionality can help care providers engage prospective patients early and effectively to improve their new patient conversion rate.

To better connect with patients when review ratings are weighing heavily on their choice of provider, consider turning on chat in your google my business profile.  Integrating a chat both in your website experience and your GMB profile can help address questions and overcome barriers such as availability, to help increase conversion in real time.

Google integrates with interaction management platforms such as Podium and AI-enabled solutions such at DearDoc that can also help boost review volume with or without backend support.

3. Evolve the appointment experience beyond calls and patient portals.

Increasing the ways patients can connect with you to schedule appointments to better align with their preferences, has shown increases in both scheduling and arrivals, especially for new patients. 

Because the option to schedule appointments via a patient portal is only available for established patients, consider incorporating a cross-channel platform for appointment self-scheduling to capture and convert new patients more seamlessly.  

Single stream omnichannel platforms like Kyruus digitizes the provider directory, enables both online and telephone appointment scheduling and to connect with consumers in their preferred channel for scheduling.

If you need support connecting with patients when and where they’re engaging digitally, &well can help. We understand the patient journey and how to motivate patients in the moments that matter.