A Stanford University report on healthcare trends observes that "democratization necessities openness" and more information barriers are being broken down every day in the industry. Healthgrades has been doing their part to bring consumers the best data on potential healthcare providers since 1996, and they aren't stopping anytime soon. Powered by patient reviews, physician profiles, and searchable directories, the Denver-based tech firm offers a comprehensive online resource that more than one million people access every day.
The way people are shopping for doctors is evolving, says Healthgrades EVP of marketing and strategy Burt Kann, and the firm is changing with them. It used to be that patients received word of mouth referrals from friends or another doctor. Failing that, they might guess at a good provider. In recent years, there is a new level of consumerism when it comes to finding a physician. A Binary Fountain Study reported that 60 percent of consumers check a healthcare provider's online ratings and reviews – even if another doctor has already referred them. The stat was up 16 percent in 2018.
In January, the company purchased Evariant, a leading patient and healthcare engagement platform, and after combining their resources, will offer the most comprehensive end-to-end engagement suite available on the market. Evariant’s complementary products and services will augment Healthgrades' offerings. They will include a healthcare customer relationship management software, physician relationship management solution, a full-service healthcare marketing agency and strategic services unit, and other services.
“At Evariant, we have successfully partnered with health systems to achieve high-value service line growth, extend patient lifetime value, and improve network utilization and planning," said Clay Ritchey, CEO of Evariant. "We are excited to become a part of Healthgrades and look forward to the significant opportunities ahead as the scale of our combined companies will fuel the expansion of our products, services, and support resources to benefit our collective client base."
The firm also acquired a tech company called Influence Health, a provider of patient engagement software designed to help hospitals and health systems connect with their users before and after their appointments. The goal of Influence Health's solutions is to affect change in patient behavior without resorting to more formal interventions. These tools are a natural extension of Healthgrades' products and provide the firm with new markets and revenue streams.
Like many organizations today, Healthgrades is tackling the COVID-19 challenge and has partnered with Conversa to launch the Coronavirus Chatbot – a tool to provide the public with current information about the virus. Backed by Conversa, a leader in automated patient engagement, the chatbot informs users about the infection, symptoms, and assesses illness presentation and level of risk. Consumers can text CORONA and enter their zip code to get real-time information about COVID-19.