3 Ways to Understand the Patient Journey
In the last several years, pretty much everything has become more remote. Most patients on the search for a doctor to help them with the healing process are going to start from a remote space, usually on a computer monitor or a touchscreen cell phone.
According to a recent study, at least 80% of patients will use an online search engine to find out information about a healthcare provider before making a decision to use them. In fact, 63% of those patients would choose a doctor with a strong online presence over one that has a less pronounced online presence.
There's no way to avoid the fact that connecting with patients online is important. However, it can be challenging to know how to get started. What do you need to do to make sure your online presence is strong and you're connecting with your patients along their journey of discovery? Here are three ways you can get started in understanding your patients' journey to finding the right provider.
1. Google Your Practice
You may be used to relying on referrals from your current patients or other healthcare providers in your field. However, referrals just aren't enough anymore. The fact is, 81% of patients will go online to read reviews about a practice and/or doctor, even after they have been referred.
If you aren't sure where to start, take the first step by googling your practice or your name. 87.91% of all internet searches in America happen on Google. If you don't show up well on Google, you won't get very far. To understand your patients' journey, Google your name and see what reviews come up first.
There are many ways to improve your presence on Google. You must keep your information updated and accurate, add photos, and engage with reviews. In addition, you can add further methods of connection to your online presence to make sure more patients find and engage with you. A great way to get started is by integrating AI chat into your Google Business profile.
According to a recent study by Wotnot, the healthcare field is seeing a huge surge in the importance of chatbots. Adding a chatbot to your Google page is a surefire way to get the connection you need with potential patients as those patients look more and more for online convenience in finding answers to their healthcare questions.
2. Respond To Reviews
Digital Commerce 360 reports that at least 77% of all patients use Google reviews as the first step in choosing a doctor. However, it can be challenging to make sure that the reviews you see on your Google page are positive. And if they aren't, it can be hard to know how to respond.
To make sure that potential patients see good reviews and aren't turned off by bad reviews, there are two steps you can take.
First, respond to ALL reviews on Google, whether good or bad. Google advises that you answer honestly, apologize when appropriate, and sign off authentically using your name or initials. In addition, you should research the complaints of your clients and see why they had a bad experience so you can address their complaints and do better in the future.
Second, do what you can to generate positive reviews. Using a review generator is an easy way to engage customers and ask them for positive reviews. Most people are much more likely to actually write a review if asked. According to the most recent research, 72% of consumers asked to write a review will! Asking for good reviews is certain to get you more positive reviews and enhance your reputation for patients on the journey to find a good healthcare provider.
3. Provide What Patients Want
When patients begin a search for a healthcare provider online, what is it that they are actually looking for? In the past, it would primarily be a doctor to go and visit. However, with the recent changes in technology and the increase in remote business, we're now seeing a different story.
According to a recent survey by Deloitte Insights, about one-third of all patients researching healthcare online are interested in using apps to identify symptoms and receive health coaching. While patients in all categories of health wanted to see such tools, those who rated themselves to be in excellent health were the most interested in virtual support.
In addition to looking to apps for help, between 40% and 50% of all patients surveyed were interested in at-home tests for diagnosing infections, testing blood, and similar procedures.
Another study found that at least 51% of patients favor performing the below tasks online:
Filling out forms.
Asking questions of providers.
Viewing health records.
As you're building your website, it's essential that you provide your patients with the services they want. When they come to your website, they will judge it based on its appearance (93% of all users leave a website if it doesn't present well on their device), but also based on its content. You need to offer customers what they want to see in an easy-to-find manner on your website to ensure they complete their journey and choose you as their provider.
Using DearDoc To Understand Your Patients' Journey
It can be challenging to implement all the steps necessary to understand your patients and meet their needs. In today's digitally-driven atmosphere, patients are more eager than ever to find their healthcare providers online. But they want to find healthcare providers who meet their criteria and fulfill their needs instantly, even before they've met in person.
If you're struggling to fulfill your patients' needs, you are not alone. We understand that there's a lot that goes into the process of winning patients over with online content. That's why we've designed a powerful suite of tools at DearDoc to help you meet your goals quickly and easily.
We have advanced AI chat tools, an easy-to-use review generator, and a team devoted to designing stunning, effective websites. If you're looking for help creating a valuable online presence for your patients, reach out to us today and we'll help you get your practice up and running on the web in no time.