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Transparency: Why It Matters

by Sara Foster | Mar 23, 2018

Let this stat sink in: 92 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision.

So, why not post some patient reviews on your website? It’s what your audience wants — and expects.

In fact, a recent study by NRC Health showed that “patient ratings/reviews” is the No. 1 item patients are looking for, followed by: hospital specialty/service line, doctor bios and payment/billing information.

“Taking the Next Steps in Your Transparency Journey,” a concurrent presentation at the 21st Annual Healthcare Internet Conference, showcased how Rob Birgfeld, chief digital marketing officer at Inova Health System led the charge to bring transparency to the system. He was joined by Andrew Ibbotson, general manager at NRC Health.

University of Utah Health, Piedmont Health and Cleveland Clinic were early adopters for transparency when it came to publishing patient reviews. Inspired by what these hospitals did, Inova Health System wanted to try something similar.

“We initially launched what we were going to do on our Intranet,” Birgfeld says. “And the world didn’t explode. So, we kept going. It’s easy to be in a large organization and say to yourself: ‘That’ll never get done.’ But then you think, ‘Well, if nobody else is going to do it — why not me? Is it right for the digital guy to drive the transparency roadmap? Who knows? But we kept rolling with it.”

Here were the three goals of the transparency efforts:

  1. Find and access the right care, the right provider to the patient’s individual needs
  2. Introduce the right content, to the right person, at the right time and on the right device
  3. Engage patients — dialogues, not monologues

If you’re curious, here’s an example of what kind of comments and star ratings that patients left for this primary care physician. And since launching the transparency efforts, website traffic has increased and there’s been a boost in rankings for Google search.

“It’s all about serving the consumer,” Birgfeld says. “We want patients to make decisions on their own terms, based on the data they give us.” 
  • transparency
  • physician ratings
  • HealthCare Marketing
  • HealthCare Digital Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • case studies

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