Star ratings and reviews significantly improved provider online reputation at a major pediatric hospital
Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric health system with two hospitals, wanted to better understand the patient and family experience, and wanted their physicians’ online reputations to match the high standards of their care. With NRC Health’s Transparency system, the average physician ratings were at 4.8, which is significantly higher than the third-party websites sharing reviews. The Children’s Wisconsin ratings and reviews are very positive and they wanted to share that with the community.
INCREASE IN UNIQUE VISITORS TO
ONLINE PROVIDER PROFILES
POINT INCREASE IN LOYALTY
INCREASE IN QUARTERLY ONLINE
Leaders at Children’s Wisconsin already knew their providers delivered outstanding care. Yet the organization’s online reputation—as often represented on third-party review sites—did not reflect their clinicians’ superb performance.
The organization’s executive team wanted to change that.
To take control of their online presence, they decided to publish patient/family ratings and reviews on Children’s Wisconsin’s own website as part of their website re-launch strategy.
To accomplish that, they turned to NRC Health. NRC Health’s Transparency system amplified their physician ratings to an average of 4.8—a significantly higher rating than on third-party websites sharing reviews.
- Two hospital locations
- 394,000 specialty care visits annually, across 70 medical specialties
- 71,400 Emergency Room/level 1 trauma center visits annually
- 277,000 primary care visits annually
- 20,000 Surgeries
- Academic partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin
NRC Health’s Transparency solution uses existing feedback processes to publish ratings and reviews online. The solution effortlessly captures, screens, and verifies 100% of patient comments, filtering out any libelous, fraudulent, or HIPAA-violating content. Once screened, the ratings appear on organization websites in the form of star reviews.
Leaders can rest assured that only authentic patient experiences will appear on their organization’s website. Consumers, meanwhile, are given a compelling case for a provider’s quality—a crucial differentiator in the age of Amazon.
Finally, physicians themselves also benefit from perfect visibility into their performance. At a glance, they can see the aggregated history of their patients’ reviews. This can be invaluable for efforts at improving their approach to care.
“Transparency is important, and Children’s Wisconsin wanted to maintain a competitive position in the market and enable consumers to get as much information as possible to choose the right provider for their children.”
—Neal Linkon, Director of Marketing
Within six months, Transparency produced meaningful results at Children’s Wisconsin.
BETTER RATINGS THAN ON THIRD-PARTY SITES
First, the solution had a direct impact on Children’s Wisconsin physicians’ online reputations. Prior to the Transparency rollout, Children’s Wisconsin providers only had profiles on third-party sites. These unverified patient experiences undersold their capabilities and tended to show significantly lower ratings.
After rollout, however, these same physicians had an online rating on the Children’s Wisconsin website that averaged 4.8 stars out of 5.
MORE WEB TRAFFIC, MORE APPOINTMENTS
Whenever customers search for services online, reviews play a major role in their decision-making. They naturally gravitate toward websites that offer verified ratings from their peers. Search-engines, too, heavily favor websites that host authentic reviews.
Because of these factors, a rollout of Transparency reliably generates large increases in web traffic. That was certainly the case at Children’s Wisconsin. When they re-launched their website, which included Transparency, unique visitors to online provider profiles each quarter went from 55,000 to 80,000 in 24 months. Even better, quarterly online appointment-bookings increased from 1,500 to 2,300 during the same timeframe.
IMPROVED PATIENT LOYALTY
Finally, by embracing a spirit of transparency in their physician ratings, Children’s Wisconsin earned a deeper vote of confidence from their community. This was most visible in their improvement on NRC Health’s Loyalty Index.
The Loyalty Index is a composite measure of patients’ likelihood to stay loyal to a given health system. It encompasses metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), ease of access, and brand engagement, among others.
Unique visitors to online provider profiles
Unique visitors to online provider profiles
Reported on a 100-point scale, the Loyalty Index reliably gauges patients’ preferences for a health brand. Transparency, driven from experience surveys, helped Children’s Wisconsin achieve significant Loyalty Index gains: the organization saw a year-over-year increase of 5 points, from 69 to 74.
This improvement puts Children’s Wisconsin among the top performers in its market, where the average Loyalty Index is 60.1.
increase in Loyalty Index score
Though pleased to see these benefits, Children’s Wisconsin’s leaders are by no means resting on their laurels. They’re now planning to build on the success they’ve observed. First, they will develop specific reporting processes to help make experience survey data, inclusive of star ratings and reviews more visible internally. They are also working on a new physician scorecard to help providers monitor their own progress. Most importantly, they will use feedback from patient/family surveys as the foundation for skills training and mentorship programs, so that their already outstanding clinicians have the opportunity to strengthen their skills.
Leaders at Children’s Wisconsin have invested in a comprehensive program to support patient and family experience and have a few pieces of advice to offer organizations considering a Transparency rollout of their own:
- COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
Tell your clinicians what you are doing and why. They may worry about unfair reviews from angry patients, or about suffering a reputational penalty for factors they cannot control.These concerns can be mitigated if leaders are forthright. Frequent and consistent communication about how the program works, what guides the publication of reviews, and how transparency defends against abusive or dishonest feedback will help put providers’ minds at ease.
- HAVE AN APPEALS PROCESS
It’s also important to give clinicians a line of defense. While it’s exceedingly rare for any comments to be disputed, having a concrete process for appeals will reassure providers that they have a voice in the process.At Children’s Wisconsin, the appeals process starts with the organization’s newly created Transparency Advisory Group (TAG). Composed of a diverse collection of leaders from across the organization, including providers, and a family advisor, the TAG gives clinicians a way to share their concerns with their peers. Similar bodies have been instrumental to the success of Transparency deployments at many of NRC Health’s partner organizations.
- OFFER SUPPORT
Clinicians need to make their caring commitment to their patients and families explicit in their words as well as their actions. Some may struggle with this.Children’s Wisconsin has invested in communication skills with programming that helps clinicians strengthen trust, partnership and effectiveness by improving communication with patients, families and colleagues. The advanced skills are concrete, definable and learnable. The programming is offered to support, not compete with, their fundamental goal of providing the best and safest care.
- SAY THANK YOU.
Hospitals build their reputations on the skills of their care teams. Transparency highlights, publicly, all of the great work of individual providers and care teams. Recognition for that great work is a key strategy for continuing success. There are many ways to show appreciation in the workplace—a small gesture can mean so much. Children’s Wisconsin recognizes providers who demonstrate their ability to deliver an exceptional child and family experience. This is cause for celebration of the great work done each and every day and validates the voice of the children and families they serve.
“Communicate, communicate, communicate. Being transparent is our reality. We want to understand what matters most to our patients and families, and communicate that information both internally and externally, ensuring everyone is informed, and ultimately driving improvement.”
—Ginger Dzick, Manager, Child and Family