Healthcare is an industry where minutes can mean the difference between life and death. With so much at stake, it's extremely important that facilities be easy to find, and that doctors be easy to contact. But in reality, close to half of all online local listings for healthcare systems have significant inaccuracies — leaving the quality of the patient experience compromised well before a patient ever reaches a facility's doors.
At Yext, we understand the unique challenges facing the healthcare industry. Our new Healthcare How-To blog series will help you navigate through your complex location data issues, and address your pain points at the source. Each installation will offer you quick opportunities to make improvements to your internal systems. We know it's hard. And we're here to help.
To start, we'll walk you through one of the most common questions healthcare marketers ask us:
A doctor in my health system has a question about his/her local listing…What do I do?
If a physician or healthcare provider in your system has discovered an issue with the way his or her location data appears online ("that's not how you spell my name!" or "that's not my phone number!") you've likely heard about it.
Suddenly, you have a stressful situation on your hands. It's embarrassing for you, frustrating for your doctor, and potentially dangerous for your patients. In a moment like this, your mind begins to reel with questions:
- Where does this information live?
- How do I fix this information once I find it?
- Is this the only one like this, or are there more out there?
- Do I even have time to figure this out?!!
Fret no more! Here are the steps you can take to fix this data:
1. Appoint one person in your organization to own this project. This will make it easier from a process standpoint.
2. Identify where you currently house this physician data — and who manages it now. Is the data in an internal CRM system? On an Excel spreadsheet? In a combination of locations? Somewhere else entirely? Find out who manages the data (could be marketing, IT, or even the physician directly). Once you locate where the data is housed, evaluate it. Is it correct? If it's not correct, determine if it needs immediate attention.
3. Fix your data on Google first. 77% of people start their health journey with a search (usually on Google). So we recommend that you start by correcting the physician listing on Google. If you haven't manually claimed the listing on Google My Business already, do that first. Once Google is up to date, you can then move your focus to those other sites/publishers, if you have the time.
4. Begin the listings claiming process on the other search engines and sites. Bing and Yahoo shouldn't be overlooked as search engines. Lots of patients use them, and you want to make sure your physician location data is correct and consistent everywhere. Once those are in order, move on to Apple Maps and Facebook. Then devote your focus to healthcare directories like Healthgrades, Vitals, Doximity and WebMD, to name a few.
5. Communicate to the physician that you made the change(s) to his/her listing. Google (and other publishers) doesn't give timeframes when an update happens, so you will have to communicate this to the physician and have him/her wait it out.
You may need to revisit these steps as different issues with different doctors arise. But with these steps in place, you'll be able to quickly rise to each new doctor's request, and answer their questions with confidence.
About Yext For Healthcare
Yext For Healthcare offers the ability to manage location and physician data across our PowerListings® network of maps, apps, social networks and search engines — including Google and Apple Maps — that patients use to find providers in critical moments of need. Visit Yext For Healthcare to learn more.