ENT and Allergy Associates has over 200 physicians practicing in 40+ locations in New York and New Jersey. The company sees more than 80,000 patients per month.
As is usually the case in modern healthcare, many of these patients are part of an increasingly wired populace that turns to digital channels to look for doctors, make healthcare decisions, and book appointments.
ENT and Allergy understands the importance of building a strong digital footprint. Its website even lets users “book online, anytime: same-day appointments promised and delivered.”
But an online booking platform is not enough. Online reputation and reviews also play a major role in driving patient acquisition.
“Who’s not Googling these days?” said Jason Campbell, director of business development and marketing. “I need to make sure that all my doctors and locations have a four-or five-star Google presence because that’s what people are going to see. People also tend to go to websites like Healthgrades and RateMDs to see what’s being said about the practice’s physicians.”
So how does one of the largest ENT practices in the country manage its online reviews and ensure the health of its digital presence?
If you’re ENT and Allergy Associates, you use ReviewTrackers.
Automated requests produce 10X more Google reviews
Campbell’s team uses ReviewTrackers to automatically request feedback from patients and generate more reviews on sites like Google and Healthgrades.
The software platform’s Ask Tool allows his team to create and customize review request templates, with links to specific websites on which ENT and Allergy’s physicians can benefit from getting more reviews.
To streamline the process, Campbell set up an API interface with ReviewTrackers in the practice’s electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) systems.
“We’re now sending out review requests within one hour after the patient encounter,” he explained.
After a patient leaves, a doctor can “click a checkbox in our system, which then automatically sends that patient a review request. This methodology has definitely helped us increase our reviews.”
Before using the Ask Tool, Campbell was sending out review requests manually. To determine recipients, he was relying on emails sent every morning by doctors who had identified patients who might write reviews.
“I don’t have a lot of manpower here. Anything that I could do to streamline the process, make it easier for our doctors to build their digital footprint, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. ReviewTrackers saved me so much time and made our lives so much easier.”
With the new approach, along with the ease of automation, ENT and Allergy has generated 10 times more Google reviews than it started with: a 1,115.2% increase. And thanks in part to the timeliness of the emails, patients are opening (50%) and clicking (16%) the practice’s review requests well above industry rates.
Higher rankings, increased traffic, more online bookings
Online reviews can dramatically improve search engine performance, an essential strategy for attracting more patients and increasing conversion.
To amplify the effects of their increased reviews on SEO, Campbell uses ReviewTrackers’ review widget suite (aptly called Amplify) to dynamically display reviews on individual doctor profile pages.
“Amplify has definitely helped generate more online appointments for the practice. Last April, we had a record-breaking 27,000 web appointments booked.” - Jason Campbell, director of business development and marketing, ENT and Allergy Associates
The widgets display a combination of third-party reviews (posted on sites like Google and Healthgrades) and first-party feedback collected through all those email requests.
“Amplify makes our website more robust,” said Campbell. “It helps us with search engine optimization. And it’s helping us show up higher (in search engine results).”
It’s also helping ENT and Allergy keep and convert traffic at better rates.
“Amplify has definitely helped generate more online appointments for the practice. When people stumble upon our doctor profile pages and our location pages, all the reviews are there. When they read all those positive reviews, they click the ‘Book an Appointment’ button on that page. They’re booking right there and then for that doctor or that location.”
The impact of Google reviews is also evident. An examination of ENT and Allergy’s website analytics shows a positive correlation between the number of reviews on Google and number of search impressions, profile views, phone calls and website clicks, and on-site conversions (web appointments).
To put it simply: as reviews have gone up, so have the amount of patients making trips to ENT and Allergy Associates.
That effect carries over to web traffic. Campbell said, “Last April, we had a record-breaking month for web appointments. 27,000 web appointments were booked.”
To examine the relationship between reviews and web bookings, we looked specifically at local search traffic and found a strong statistical correlation.
A customer-centric approach to drive patient experience
As the clout of healthcare consumers grows, so do their options. To encourage preference and inspire loyalty, ENT and Allergy Associates has always stayed responsive to online feedback, helping foster trust-based relationships with patients.
“We love to respond to every single review that comes in, positive or negative,” said Campbell. “Why? Because people want to know that you care.”
While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prevents providers from referring to specific details (like the patient’s identity or health information) when responding to reviews, ENT and Allergy adopts a careful, compliant approach and embraces the opportunity to engage with patients online.
“Reviews never get put to the back burner,” Campbell added. “(When responding), we take the conversation offline (to follow HIPAA guidelines). But it still shows other people that we’re there, that we care about the patient experience, or are at least looking to rectify the situation.
“This has always been a top priority for our operations. It generates more business for the practice.”
“ReviewTrackers Will Make Your Life Easier”
Managing reviews is also part of ENT and Allergy Associates’ commitment to the patient experience. Whether they’re reading comments from a patient in Williamsburg, Brooklyn or responding to a Google review from someone in Poughkeepsie or Riverhead, Campbell’s team has always understood the value of patient feedback.
Now, the practice has the perfect platform for demonstrating that commitment.
“I would definitely recommend ReviewTrackers to other practices and even academic institutions,” Campbell said. “Honestly, no one has time these days to go onto all these different sites and listen to what’s being said about your practice. ReviewTrackers will make your life easier.”