Mar 15, 2024



The Importance of Patient Retention in a Competitive Landscape

Your existing patients make up the backbone of your revenue. Here’s how to nurture their needs for long-term success.

Across the healthcare landscape, marketing budgets have either remained stagnant or declined. As such, health systems must strive to forge lasting patient connections that will consistently drive ROI, which means focusing on patient retention alongside acquisition

It has become more essential than ever to prioritize the patient experience. Yet, overburdened health systems are facing the challenge of doing more with fewer resources—and workforce shortages continue to impact patient access. Nowadays, patients want speed and convenience, and with the abundance of information online just a click away, it doesn’t take much for them to shop around if they have a bad experience. In fact, 69% of patients would switch doctors to receive better care elsewhere.

So, what’s the best way for your health system to stand out even in the face of these challenges and ensure patients choose to stay with your practice throughout their healthcare journey? Partner with Healthgrades, the nation’s premier platform for physician discovery, to cultivate lasting doctor-patient connections that pave the way toward better health outcomes.

Navigating Competition from New Entrants

Amidst rising costs and clinical workforce shortages, new entrants into the healthcare industry have started to heighten competition. Big retail brands like Amazon, CVS, and Costco are expected to capture 30% of primary care by 2030—adding pressure to specialties at hospitals that rely on primary care as a significant referral source. Larger health systems that formed from mergers or partnered with retailers to deliver an enriched patient experience also stand to impact traditional healthcare.

These giants have the resources to scale business as needed, allowing them to adapt quickly to shifting consumer demand. For instance, 44% of Americans already have an active Amazon Prime membership, which means Amazon can leverage its consumer data in its ongoing healthcare expansion strategies. Meanwhile, the nation’s largest health system only engages with 1% of Americans through its care delivery system.

But while business prospects may look promising for them, traditional health systems offer an unmatched experience that goes a long way toward patient retention, and a third-party site like Healthgrades can help you tap into your unique strengths and connect with qualified consumers right before they make an appointment.

Foster Patient Loyalty with Healthgrades

Every year, half of all U.S. healthcare consumers who see a doctor visit, and 67% of them schedule an appointment within a week—making us the #1 platform for connecting patients with the right care team for them. 

A Healthgrades advertising program can help increase brand awareness among these healthcare shoppers, turning them into new patients while re-engaging those who either previously visited or may have left due to difficulty getting an appointment—all of which are key for long-term loyalty and growth. 

However, it’s important to note that while health systems view someone who visits any of their doctors as a patient, consumers don’t always see it that way. The good news is Americans recognize the value of a continuous care relationship—in a survey by the American Board of Family Medicine, more than half of respondents believed that continuous doctor-patient relationships have a significant effect on equitable care. ​​Familiarity with the physician, combined with the physician’s knowledge of the patient, makes it easier to stay within the same health system—provided the patients have a good experience. But even if they search for a new care team, a robust online presence will likely keep them in-house.

When you partner with Healthgrades, you’ll receive featured brand placement throughout the site that helps increase promotional opportunities for your health system, allowing you to stay top-of-mind with consumers, both new and existing:

  • Increased visibility: Prominent branding and calls to action on physician profiles and search results pages.
  • Competitive intercept: Promote your brand and present your medical staff as alternative options directly on your competitors’ physician profile pages. This feature alone typically generates enough revenue to cover the cost of your Healthgrades advertising program.
  • Syndication network: Reach consumers where they are by extending your brand across the web through our partner sites.
  • Expanded access: Prospective patients who land on a physician’s profile from your health system are shown alternative doctors within the same practice if that physician is not accepting new patients.
  • Easy conversions: Embed your site’s online appointment scheduling in your Healthgrades profile to convert patients ready to appoint.
  • SEO/SEM: Our solutions both complement and outperform Google SEM to maximize your relevance in search results.

Patient retention goes hand in hand with acquisition. Both are needed for your hospital to be successful, so it’s no surprise that 70% of marketers1 are prioritizing retention in their future plans. By investing in Healthgrades’ advertising solutions, you dramatically improve the number of patients you’re going to retain. Learn how this solution helped one hospital surpass expectations.

Case Study: Preserving Patient Loyalty and Gaining New Ground

A Northeastern hospital client in an urban environment performed a three-month A/B test to determine the effectiveness of their Healthgrades advertising program. Participating physicians were separated into two groups. Standard employed physician profiles that appeared during a Healthgrades search were switched to sponsored profiles, then changed back again to determine impact.

As a result, the physicians partnered through this Healthgrades program saw an average of:

  • 60% more existing patients retained
  • 150% more new patient calls
  • 40% reduction in appointment opportunities for competitors, thanks to Healthgrades’ competitive intercept feature

Turn Your Investment into Tangible ROI with Healthgrades

By partnering with Healthgrades, health systems can convert new and existing patient demand into hospital encounters and clearly measure success. Since 2011, Healthgrades has been measuring ROI for our valued partners, offering a comprehensive breakdown of the type of patients that engage most with your brand. This includes new, existing, and new-to-service line patients—those who were on the verge of looking for another health system but stayed with yours. With Healthgrades partner programs designed to deliver a 5:1 ROI for new and new-to-service-line patients, rest assured that every dollar spent with us will turn into guaranteed results.

Get in touch with us today to explore our suite of advertising solutions guaranteed to bring conversions to your health system.

1. Healthgrades Borderless Access Panel Survey, April 8-May 19, 2022, n=111