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Online profiles are digital calling cards that must be accurate, comprehensive, and present across channels, according to providers in a recent Kyruus survey. Focused on surfacing actionable insights for health plans and systems, the study explores the opinions of 200 providers (100 PCPs, 100 specialists) on digital access strategies, pressing challenges, and areas for deeper partnership. Below we dig into key insights that health plan leaders in particular can take into consideration when developing provider network partnership strategies as well as when building provider search tools and capabilities. 

Painting an accurate picture for consumers and referring providers.

Providers say it’s critical that their digital profiles depict who they are and what makes them unique so they stand out in the search process—both to consumers seeking care and to other providers making referrals to their patients. The majority (78%) say it’s very important to include more in-depth details, like a personal statement, languages spoken, or whether they are LGBTQ+ friendly in their profile. While there is a desire to include  more information on their profile, what’s most important is the accuracy and completeness of their data. Their top reasons for maintaining a high-quality profile include:  

  • Accurately conveying professional experience (45%)
  • Showcasing academic research, publications, and experience (42%)
  • Improving visibility to referring providers and ensuring patients booked are clinically appropriate (39%, respectively)

Of those providers who are not satisfied with their digital profiles, the majority (57%) say it’s because the profile lacks sections or fields they’d want to include. 

Expanding digital presence here, there, and everywhere.

Providers want their profiles to surface everywhere consumers search online for care—including health plan websites. And not surprisingly, profile accuracy is important to providers in external channels as well. A big red flag for health plans when it comes to their provider relationships, however, is that more than half of providers are dissatisfied with the accuracy of their profile on health plan sites. 

Online scheduling was another topic covered in the recent survey, highlighting providers’ skyrocketing interest in enabling online scheduling for their patients. We saw a huge jump—up 30 percentage points since 2019—with nearly half (47%) citing their interest in allowing this capability from health plan directories. This is certainly another opportunity for health plans and healthcare organizations to collaborate on a seamless solution that meets the needs of both providers and members.

Collaboration is Key

Why is it so important for healthcare organizations to work with health plans and other third-party digital entities to bring greater consistency to profile data? The answer is a long one.

Providers want to expand their cross-channel presence, but they know they can’t make it happen on their own. In fact, 98% say it’s important for their healthcare organization to be more active in managing their profiles externally—and health plan websites are the top spot where providers want this type of support (77%).

Providers believe this collaboration is the key to helping them:

  • Drive patient acquisition (44%)
  • Avoid or limit scheduling clinically inappropriate patients (41%)
  • Be accurately represented across the web (39%) 

The desire for providers to better engage with their patients while growing their practice and standing out in their field is half of the value in health plans and health systems partnering. Happy providers are better business for both. However, the desire for patients to have many of the same things providers want is an important piece of the puzzle for all healthcare organizations. Ensuring things like profile accuracy and online scheduling are part of consumer’s search for care, regardless of where that journey begins or how it changes over time, and is rapidly becoming table stakes in healthcare. 

Simply put, collaboration is critical to the success of advancement and innovation in healthcare. It isn’t always the easy road but it is the necessary one to address the changing healthcare landscape—and it has the potential to greatly benefit patients, health plans, and providers alike.

Want even more provider insights? Click here to download Provider Perspectives on Digital Access, 2022 Edition