At Piedmont Healthcare, the Most Powerful Marketing Tool Is the Voice of the Consumer

September 2, 2016

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

Piedmont Healthcare Logo with marginIn 2014, Piedmont Healthcare was the second health system to go live with physician star ratings based on Press Ganey survey data. “The reason we did it was because there’s no more powerful voice in helping consumers understand the experience with a service or product than the voice of other consumers,” says Matt Gove, Chief Consumer Officer at Piedmont Healthcare. “The goal was to give consumers the information they need to make the decision that’s right for them.”

The most influential source in selecting a physician may be a recommendation from a friend or family member, but it doesn’t stop there. “When you get a recommendation from someone you know, one of the first things you do is look online to find more information about that physician,” says Gove. Piedmont posts star ratings on individual physician bio pages, and aggregates them at the practice and service line level.

Matt Gove, Chief Consumer Officer at Piedmont Healthcare

Matt Gove, Chief Consumer Officer at Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont receives hundreds of thousands of reviews and ratings each year. “We’ve spent two-and-a-half years sorting, reading, and analyzing every single comment from our Press Ganey reviews,” says Gove. The problem is that the comments aren’t providing the degree of insight Gove and his team are looking for, because questions related to consumer perceptions of quality are not captured adequately on the HCAHPS survey, which is designed to report clinical quality measures defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“What we’re trying to do now is expand on the work we’ve done through star ratings,” says Gove. “The consumer view of quality is about experience and outcomes. How long does it take me to get back to work? That’s not something you can find on CMS.”

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