Spectrum Health Lakeland, a healthcare and hospital system located in southwest Michigan, began using a digital acquisition program five years ago to promote their providers. By using Healthgrades, a company that provides ratings for over 3 million physicians, clinics, and hospitals, Spectrum has linked 150 of their physicians with commercially insured patients.
Healthgrades offers Yelp-like reviews of their physicians, allowing any patient to leave a rating. In addition to ratings on a 5-star scale, the platform offers up a brief background check, lists the top three reasons patients like the physician, lists the doctor’s top procedures and treatments, and even offers a search box for patients to check if their insurance provider is accepted by the office. There is also a compare feature that allows the user to search for and compare reviews and services of other doctors in the area who offer similar services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ramped up software launches for platforms designed to help consumers outside of the office. The disease has also put quality of care at the top of patients’ minds, rather than picking a doctor based on location alone. According to a Patient Confidence Study, consumers are now 65% more likely to choose a hospital based on quality over convenience than they were in a pre-COVID world.
“We’re seeing an important shift in consumer behavior, as healthcare quality remains in the national spotlight as the country reemerges from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Healthgrades Chief Medical Officer Brad Bowman, MD. “We applaud and are grateful for these hospitals around the country that are working so hard and are committed to providing the care...for their patients.”
The mad rush in hospitals worldwide to establish the “new normal” of healthcare prompted Spectrum Health Lakeland to launch the program only 30 days after linking up with Healthgrades. The launch generated significant results right away. Some physicians were hesitant to engage with a system based on patient ratings, but most have come around to recognizing the value of showcasing positive consumer experiences online. Healthgrades is a trusted name that combines ratings with clinical scores and information from physicians’ CVs, letting patients make more informed decisions about their healthcare in a time when people seek control.