Does Hospital Profitability Depend on Doctors’ Reputations?

by | Sep 25, 2012

Dr. Sikorski from Healthcare Marketing Center recently unveiled 12 case studies about what impact Doctors’ Reputations have on the success of practices, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers. Here are some compelling statistics

1) 100% of patients “Googled” doctors when seeking elective fee-for-service procedures or with out-of-network benefits at the hospitals/ASCs/practices, even if referred by a PCP or specialist. Patient Satisfaction Surveys and Verified Patient Reviews of Doctors were the most sought-after pieces of information before scheduling appointments. Most reviews that were anonymous and unverified did not impact their decisions, even if negative.

2) 80% of employed W-2 Doctors at 3 hospitals (250 doctors total) have never Googled their names. 20% of the 250 had truly bad reviews, most of them outdated by at least 6 months.

3) Another Nationally Recognized Hospital had 40% of their on-staff doctors publicly reviewed on Doctor-Review sites as below national average for patient satisfaction. Most of the surveys were from 2008 – 4 years ago, yet the moment this was rectified case volume increased by ~20% (I’m still waiting for the last week of results) – without any advertising dollars.

4) The same hospital used the patient-review-technology to become more accountable for patient satisfaction. They gathered 350 reviews, 50 of which were negative, but 100% directed at the doctors, even though the doctors had nothing to do with it.

5) Advertising costs decreased by average of 50% while case volumes increased by average of 120% every time the doctors were featured and not the hospital/practice brand

6) One Ambulatory Surgery Center used our iPad/Cloud technology to publish 22 reviews for the doctors with bad reputations resulting in 33 new out-of-network appointments. Because they were asking all patients at follow up to use the technology they were able to capture 3 very bad complaints that were rectified and therefore never published.

At our Health 2.0 meeting in New York on July 31st, we compared our results to an NYC hospital that ran a focused Public Relations campaign for doctors at one of their Centers of Excellence before running an advertising campaign. Similarly, for the first time in its history, the hospital ran the campaign not for the brand but for the doctors’ expertise. Cost of the campaign was almost 1500% less expensive, yes I said 1500% less expensive, won interest from TV & online publications, and increased case volumes by 30%.

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