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Kudos to Bryan Health—Nebraska’s champion of healthcare transparency

In Nebraska, Bryan Health enjoys a reputation for leadership and innovation.

The institution affirmed that position with an important stride: publishing patient reviews directly onto the Bryan Health website. In a recent article published by the Omaha World Herald, Bryan Health, along with Nebraska Medicine (the first to go live in Omaha), was recognized for their commitment to providing the transparency consumers desire.

NRC Health applauds this commitment. It reflects a deep understanding of how patients approach care decisions.

It’s an important step forward, and a rare distinction. Only 60 or so healthcare systems in the country have taken this important first step toward embracing greater healthcare transparency. But the movement is rapidly gaining momentum. In fact, NRC Health has just published its ten millionth verified patient rating. The milestone rating, published at Cleveland Clinic, signals the rapid growth of healthcare transparency nationwide.

And now, Bryan Health can claim membership in this distinguished cohort of health groups.

Here’s why Bryan Health made the change, and how decisions like this are shaping the future of healthcare.

Problems with the status quo
77% of patients start their search for providers online. Often, their first stops are third-party review sites like Facebook and Yelp.

But relying on these websites presents some serious problems for providers and patients alike.

1) Low volume of reviews

Facebook dominates the third-party review space in healthcare. But even there, reviews per provider are scant. These unverified online ratings also tend to skew negative. Based on recent research, they are, on average, 18% lower—which is nearly one full star rating lower than verified ratings and reviews. There’s not enough to fully inform patients, and it doesn’t give doctors a fair shake either.

2) No privacy protection

Sites like Facebook and Yelp do not specialize in healthcare. This means they have an incomplete understanding of the privacy issues unique to the space. If providers are not careful, Facebook reviewers and healthcare providers who respond to those reviews may accidentally reveal sensitive information. This can put providers in danger of HIPAA violations.

3) Patients are not validated

Many third-party review sites cannot verify care experiences. There is no way to tell whether a consumer on Yelp even visited the physician in question. This creates opportunities for fraud or abuse, making these reviews unreliable. Patients can’t count on them, and physicians don’t know whether to believe them.

4) No way to address negative reviews

If false reviews should arise, providers have little recourse. Doctors have no way to prevent virtual slander.

Transparency: a better way forward
Given these shortcomings, it should be a priority for any institution to follow in Bryan Health’s footsteps.

36.55% of consumers report that they want to see ratings and reviews of doctors on a hospital’s website. Taking control over the feedback-publishing process can prevent some serious problems and give patients what they demand.

For healthcare facilities ready to make the leap, NRC Health can augment these efforts.

After a facility deploys a feedback transparency solution, NRC Health screens comments before they are published. Analysts review for libelous statements, HIPAA violations, and false claims by patients to have visited a provider. The end result: verified reviews that patients can trust.

This transparency inspires confidence in consumers. And that’s not all. If providers know that patient feedback is genuine, they can use that feedback to improve their services. This drives clinical performance, and helps the organization build greater loyalty and trust with their patients.

NRC Health can also streamline the feedback process. They can make sure that patients see feedback surveys immediately after their care experience, which means they’ll provide more—and more accurate—reviews than any third-party website can capture.

In fact, compared with Facebook, NRC Health publishes nearly 30 times as many reviews per provider. Where Facebook has eight, NRC Health will only begin to publish reviews after receiving 30 of them. On average, NRC Health publishes 123 ratings per provider—and if the client uses Real-time feedback, that average rises to 232 verified patient ratings per provider each year.

More reviews means a more complete picture of a provider’s abilities. And that helps empower patient choice.

Deb Boehle, a spokeswoman from Bryan Health, believes that’s the best reason to pursue transparency. “If people are looking for a doctor,” she says, “it’s important for them to hear what current patients think.”

Credit where credit is due
That’s a mindset that NRC Health celebrates. It shows a deep respect for and understanding of today’s healthcare consumer.

We at NRC Health congratulate and commend Bryan Health, and all of our transparency partners—not just for their technological strides, but for their bedrock philosophy of patient-centered care and human understanding.