How the Orthopedic Institute improved its online reputation using rater8, resulting in increased web traffic and new patient volume within a year.
About the Orthopedic Institute
With 16 locations across South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, the Orthopedic Institute (OI) has offered convenient access and the region’s leading orthopedic care for nearly 50 years. With a focus on excellent patient experience and innovative world-class treatments, OI is deeply committed to the communities served by its 19 orthopedic surgeons and 50+ additional providers.
With practices opening and consolidating all around them, by 2020 OI found itself in an increasingly competitive orthopedic market. As competitors grew, OI needed to find modern, reliable, and cost-effective ways to attract new patients and reacquire past patients. Although they had always invested responsibly across traditional marketing channels, they had not prioritized newer digital and online marketing opportunities such as reputation management, social media, and online advertising.
Despite a stellar “real-world” reputation among the communities OI serves, their online reputation did not accurately reflect the high level of patient satisfaction and quality of care they deliver, most notably indicated by relatively low ratings and few reviews on websites patients use to research healthcare providers and services.
At the beginning of 2021, OI was receiving an average of about 25 online reviews per month. Most of these reviews were left on Healthgrades, with only a handful being added to Google, where over 90% of a patient’s online research is conducted. And, because dissatisfied patients are more intrinsically motivated to share their experiences compared to satisfied patients, OI’s ratings skewed negative.
After a diligent review of reputation management vendors, OI’s executive team decided to implement rater8 to solve this problem.
rater8 provides OI with the technology and process to automatically and intelligently build online reviews across all the sites that patients use to conduct research, including Google, Facebook, Healthgrades, Vitals, and WebMD.
2,000% Increase in Online Reviews
Using rater8, OI is now building nearly 300 online reviews per month with an average star-rating of 4.85. Importantly, reviews are being built predominantly on Google, but also consistently across the secondary healthcare review sites. Further, reviews are balanced optimally across OI’s various office listings, individual physicians, and all permutations of where each physician practices (a total of 164 online review site listings).
OI was initially focused on improving its rankings and reputation on Google, where they most often create a first impression with patients, so rater8’s pollin8™ algorithm directed the majority of review requests to Google. After just 6 months, OI had accumulated more than 1,000 Google reviews, at which point the algorithm was adjusted to begin distributing approximately 25% of reviews to secondary sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, and WebMD.
Just one year after implementing rater8, OI and its physicians have amassed over 2,500 optimally distributed online reviews and an overall star-rating of 4.8. That represents an increase of more than 2,000% in the number of reviews.
88% Increase in New Patient Volume
The improvement in OI’s online reputation, and the correlating increase in traffic to their website, has resulted in a steady increase in new patient volume and self-referrals from the internet.
Each month on average, OI attracts approximately 58 more new patients than they did the month before; in other words, rater8 helps OI attract an additional new patient every week for each physician. Month-over-month, that’s an average growth rate of around 7% in new patient volume; and, over the course of their first year working with rater8, monthly new patient volume has increased by 88%.
Benefits and ROI
In addition to their 50x return on investment measured by the increase in new patient volume, OI enjoys several secondary benefits from its use of rater8.
- Surveys, practice improvement, and benchmarking
- Patient testimonials on their practice website and social media
- SEO benefits and rater8 Verified Reviews pages
rater8 is the healthcare industry’s leading provider of online reputation management technology and services. Supporting thousands of physicians nationwide, rater8 provides automated tools to build online reviews, conduct patient satisfaction surveys, and showcase patient testimonials, helping medical practices and hospitals attract more patients and outshine competitors online.