But health systems can engage with their providers to boost the effectiveness of digital initiatives.
Photo/Thumb have been modified. Courtesy of Rural Health Professions Action Plan via flickr.
Patients go online to compare healthcare providers and choose the better organizations and clinicians. And a majority of U.S. consumers reported that online reviews are either important or very important when choosing a physician. But despite patients and providers alike finding a strong value to digital presence, almost half of surveyed physicians said they were not involved in the creation of their personal profile, according to a new report from Kyruus, a provider of search and scheduling solutions for health systems.
The report, “Provider Perspectives on Digital Access,” noted that 41% of physicians are dissatisfied or only somewhat satisfied with how their profile represents them. The top concerns with their profiles included accuracy and lack of differentiation from other physicians.
“There’s a prevalent misconception that physicians are resistant to change, particularly when it comes to digital innovation,” said Graham Gardner, M.D., CEO of Kyruus. “The survey findings dispel this notion and demonstrate that they are actually eager to help manage their digital presence.”
Researchers at Kyruus conducted a survey of 100 primary care physicians and 100 specialists. Participants are employed by a hospital or health system, see patients in an ambulatory setting, have been in practice for a year or more and spend at least 20 hours per week seeing patients.
Nearly 60% of respondents said they value a high-quality find-a-provider profile to showcase their research, publications and experience. Almost half said it’s important to display accurate information about their professional experience, while 48% said to improve their visibility within their network of referring providers.
Providers who were not involved in building their profile reported interest in being more involved personally (49%) or through their staff (42%). But the lack of involvement stems from providers not knowing how to create and maintain a profile on their own (42%) and that they don’t have time to do it themselves (36%).
And more than 60% of providers find patient ratings and reviews very or extremely important, but many are concerned with the accuracy and relevance of them. A little more than half (53%) of providers are satisfied with the accuracy of their practice information on Google.
It’s important for health systems to speak the language of their providers, the report noted. Providers believe their profile is a powerful place to showcase their skills and build relationships. Working with providers from planning through execution of a digital access initiative also allows the physicians to be an active part of their systems’ digital strategy.
Health systems can also share data on patient decision drivers to give physicians insight into how profiles help patients discover them.
There is also an opportunity for health systems to make it easier for their providers to get involved with the digital initiatives.
Health systems can consolidate provider data to create a single place to update information. By doing this, health systems remove some administrative burden and allow the providers to focus on sections they can validate, like research, publications and clinical expertise.
Establishing a data governance committee led by clinical leadership could help educate providers and streamline ways to continuously maintain their profiles.
It is beneficial for health systems to explain the perks of search rankings and overall online discoverability. To build more trust with their providers, health systems can also create processes to review and approve provider data before being published.
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