How to beat out Yelp, Healthgrades & take control of spine center referrals

Written by Erin Marshall | June 14, 2016 | Print  |

How do patients learn about their healthcare options? In today's world of technology, it's difficult for them to secure one reliable way of choosing where they should go to receive care. But Prizm Development, which develops spine centers of excellence, is looking to change that by utilizing certain techniques to appeal to patients.

Among others, Yelp and Healthgrades are central to how patients learn about the healthcare environment. And the prevalence of such sites isn't going away — patients will continue to obtain information from the internet, and physicians and providers need to be equipped to paint the best possible picture of themselves. "This isn't an evolutionary thing," Prizm Development President Bob Reznik said at the Becker's 14th annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. "Healthcare will end up with a more logical system for ratings eventually. Some sort of national registry will replace it all," he predicted.

 

Unfortunately, such sites don't always portray providers in the best light, and therefore they can't truly help patients find the right provider. Rather than fully relying on Yelp and Healthgrades, Prizm Development seeks to fully educate consumers and better direct patients to its spine centers of excellence. Since 50 percent of Prizm's promotional materials are direct-to-consumer, it considers its internet site the hub of all pertinent information. "With all the content we bury in our center's website, the information comes up high in organic searches," Mr. Reznik said.

 

But that's not all. Another 10 percent of Prizm's advertising is business-related, while 40 percent is through referrals. For example, the company has created its own Prizm Home Remedy Book, which it encourages primary care physicians to distribute to their patients. Through these booklets, the physicians are able to not only help their patients but also refer them to one of Prizm's spine centers of excellence.

 

The promotion isn't over when the patient arrives at one of the centers of excellence, though. "You want to communicate that this space is different," Mr. Reznik said. How exactly is the center different from any other spine facility? For one, each center of excellence is equipped with not only a spine surgeon, but also with a physical medicine doctor who will see the patients first. In this way, the entire team works together rather than competitively. Additionally, a spine center of excellence must look the part. "Space planning is key," Mr. Reznik concluded. "The spine center of the future will be freestanding and will be a blend between a fitness center and a doctor's office."

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