To give you a jump start on the new year, we asked industry experts about their predictions for the future of location, marketing, and technology in 2017. We'll be posting their responses over the next month here on the Yext blog. Follow us on Twitter @Yext for new posts, and tweet at us with your own predictions.
Digital Communications Consultant, Steward Health Care
Patients are consumers and services are services. The lines between how consumers interact with different industries are becoming increasingly blurred. Patients will no longer differentiate their experience in a hospital from their experience in a hotel. They will start to expect the same level of reliability, consistency, convenience, and personalization from every brand they encounter — offline and online.
Healthcare is becoming a commodity. Hospitals, practices, urgent care centers, labs, and more will start to be seen as the "healthcare storefront," similar to a bank branch or restaurant franchise. This makes local listings extremely important for driving business and satisfying patient expectations in healthcare.
Online searches for healthcare services have doubled in the last four years and this number will only increase. Just as a consumer would research a car, find a dealer and go for a test drive – a patient would research a condition, possible treatments, a matching physician and then make an appointment . But if an online listing is not accurate or wrong for a healthcare "storefront", patients will lose trust and most likely begin their research again.
Not managing or owning your listings will become detrimental to any healthcare system. As care becomes more and more local, the accuracy and consistency of online listings will become more and more important.
This post is part of a series of 2017 predictions from industry experts.