4 Considerations to Create a Better Provider Directory
First impressions count. Unfortunately for healthcare, the journey often starts with one of the thorniest digital touchpoints for payers to manage: the provider directory. Each directory error threatens member satisfaction and business operations. And with a 25% turnover of provider rosters annually, the risk of inaccuracy is high, says Lynda Rowe, Senior Advisor, Value-based Markets, InterSystems.
Yet this shortcoming persists even as online retailers, airlines, and banks deliver personalized recommendations before a customer knows they need them. Consumers simply expect better.
So, can health plans turn this stumbling block into a digital front door to better experiences and care? Experts think so. Here are four key points to help insurers transform their provider directory.
1 - The new healthcare landscape adds complexity to provider directories
Creating a single source of truth for provider data can be a monumental task. Low-quality information is rife, mergers and acquisitions create data silos, and the healthcare ecosystem’s rapid evolution generates new challenges daily.
2 - Inaccuracies create barriers to care, frustrate customers, and disrupt processes
Mistakes are costly. About 42% of location entries contain an error that limits access to care, Rowe says. And out-of-network physicians regularly meet with patients who booked an appointment only because of provider directory shortcomings.
For health plans and providers, the errors can disrupt claims, billing, and referrals. Inaccuracies also hamper research, analytics, and processes. The newly passed No Surprises Act, meanwhile, raises the financial risks of mistakes.
The solution: Establish a data management strategy that leverages technology and people. By identifying sources of clean data, explaining data management strategies with partners, and allowing providers to update their own information, payers may build stronger, up-to-date provider directories.
3 - The digital experience should treat each patient as a person
Digital experiences have become key differentiators since the pandemic pushed more of the healthcare journey online. They can help enhance relationships among members, providers, and payers.
Provider directories can support this mission and break down barriers to care. Access to accurate information that includes social context, for example, can help members find care that suits their needs — an important step toward cultural sensitivity, diversity, and inclusion.
4 - Healthcare does not exist in a vacuum
But remember: Seamless services from consumer-technology giants have shaped expectations of digital offerings. Customers want convenience and transparency when making big healthcare and financial decisions online.
Creating a streamlined and accurate provider directory opens the door to better member experiences — and that’s vital for their health and your business.