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Monday, July 17, 2023

Patients are Shopping for Providers

By Christina Goodwin — Design Director, Interaction Design

How a physician’s online biography is becoming the “healthcare PDP”.

Person using their tablet for a telehealth call while holding a pill organizer
Patients are Shopping for ProvidersDesign Director, Interaction Design — Christina Goodwin
Person using their tablet for a telehealth call while holding a pill organizer

The process of selecting a physician has evolved significantly, with individuals relying heavily on online platforms for research and decision-making. Patients increasingly expect their healthcare experiences to be as seamless and personalized as their customer experiences in other sectors. This shift has been influenced by online experiences, such as shopping, and has transformed patients' expectations and preferences. There is a unique opportunity for healthcare websites to leverage the commerce mindset by redesigning physician biography pages, effectively transforming them into the healthcare equivalent of Product Detail Pages (PDPs). By aligning with the principles of online commerce, healthcare providers can create compelling online experiences that resonate with prospective patients and facilitate informed decision-making.

The Commerce Mindset in Healthcare and the Rise of Healthcare PDPs

Within the healthcare domain, contemporary design elements resembling online shopping experiences are increasingly present, particularly on physician biography pages. These elements include the integration of ratings and reviews alongside prominent calls to action, such as the "Book Appointment" button. Moreover, advancements in biographical imagery, including long-form videos, have further enhanced the engaging and trust-building aspects of these pages.

However, this similarity to online commerce experiences is not merely about mimicking the aesthetics of shopping websites. Rather, it reflects a deeper shift in patients' expectations. Today's patients, influenced by their experiences as consumers, expect their interactions with healthcare providers to be as seamless, personalized, and user-friendly as their experiences with online retailers.

By adopting design elements that align with these expectations, healthcare providers can create a more customer-centric experience that resonates with prospective patients.

Transforming Physician Biographies into Healthcare PDPs

Physician biographies serve as the cornerstone in establishing a healthcare provider's brand identity and effectively communicating the value of their services. In the digital age, patients increasingly expect these biographies to provide a comprehensive, easily accessible overview of a physician's expertise, similar to a product detail page in online commerce.

By adopting the commerce mindset and incorporating design elements inspired by online retailers, healthcare organizations can meet these expectations and transform physician biographies into compelling and immersive online experiences.

Having adopted the commerce mindset and incorporated design elements inspired by online retailers, healthcare organizations are now poised to transform physician biographies into the healthcare equivalent of Product Detail Pages (PDPs). This transformation involves optimizing the design of physician biographies to mirror strategies used in online commerce. For instance, just as online retailers strategically showcase related products, healthcare websites can incorporate related items such as whitepapers, clinical trials, profiles of similar physicians, and more. These additions empower patients to delve into the entirety of a physician's expertise, accomplishments, and background, fostering a deeper connection and cultivating trust.

Additionally, integrating ratings and reviews into physician biographies is crucial. Patient feedback plays a pivotal role in shaping patient perceptions and influencing decision-making. According to research by PressGaney, ratings and reviews are the #1 factor influencing a consumer's decision to book an appointment with a physician. By incorporating ratings and reviews, healthcare providers demonstrate transparency and credibility, providing valuable insights for prospective patients and fostering trust. In a study conducted by our internal research team, we explored the challenges and opportunities in this rapidly evolving field. One participant aptly stated,

"[Reviews] are the only way to get unbiased information. That’s also the only way to narrow it down when there isn’t much other information."

Our insights into the digital transformation in healthcare can be found in the Digital Health Report, which explores the challenges and opportunities in healthcare technology.

This approach to transforming physician biographies into healthcare PDPs aligns with the expectations of patients by enhancing the patient experience.

Embracing Pricing Transparency for Future Success

While pricing information is not commonly featured on physician biography pages, embracing pricing transparency is becoming increasingly important in the healthcare industry. Adherence to regulations like the Hospital Price Transparency Law demonstrates a commitment to respecting patients and empowering them to make well-informed decisions. Anticipating patient expectations, future appointment booking experiences may incorporate pricing estimates, insurance information, and options for medical service selection, resulting in a streamlined and transparent patient experience. As the trend of healthcare PDPs evolves, it's likely that patients will come to expect this level of pricing transparency, just as they do when shopping online.

The Impact of the Commerce Mindset on Healthcare Experience

The strategic design of physician biographies, inspired by the commerce mindset, provides healthcare providers with a unique opportunity to transform these biographies into healthcare PDPs. Incorporating elements from online commerce experiences and emphasizing the parallels between physical biography pages and digital commerce platforms can result in engaging, informative, and persuasive online experiences. The integration of ratings and reviews, optimization of imagery and videos, and anticipation of future demands such as pricing transparency can significantly enhance patient engagement, foster trust, and position healthcare providers as leaders in the digital era.

This approach not only enhances the patient experience and empowers informed decision-making, but also contributes to the success of healthcare organizations in a competitive landscape.

Proven and Credentialed Experience in Healthcare Technology

We have extensive experience delivering healthcare-related solutions and client work across a wide array of segments in the industry. Our work with Sanofi leveraged mobile and connected technologies to improve patient health outcomes. In collaboration with Walgreens, we reinvented their intranet to enhance collaboration and communication among employees. A partnership with NeuroMetrix Quell utilized end-user insights and smart design to drive medical device adherence and we also assisted M Health in creating a new digital healthcare site experience that prioritizes patients.

Our ISO 13485 certification is a significant credential in the healthcare sector. This international standard outlines the requirements for a quality management system specific to the medical devices industry. It signifies that Rightpoint has implemented a system that consistently delivers medical device software meeting customer expectations and regulatory requirements. This certification underscores Rightpoint's commitment to the highest standards of quality and safety in the development of medical grade software. It also indicates that Rightpoint has the necessary systems in place to identify and manage risks, ensure regulatory compliance, and continually improve its processes. In the context of the digital transformation journey, this certification provides healthcare providers with the assurance they need to trust in Rightpoint's ability to deliver reliable, safe, and effective digital solutions that meet the specific needs and regulatory requirements of the healthcare industry. This trust is a crucial factor in successful partnerships and can greatly enhance the effectiveness of digital transformation efforts.

Healthcare providers looking to navigate the digital transformation journey and thrive in the era of the commerce mindset in healthcare can greatly benefit from the expertise and experience offered by Rightpoint.