How to Build The Provider Directory Tool That Keeps Members Coming Back
As one of the most utilized resources on a health insurer’s website, a provider directory should have rich data and streamlined experiences for members to locate a provider that meets their needs. When was the last time your plan captured member feedback on your provider search solution? If you are struggling to determine the right course of action for improving your provider directory tool, you are not alone.
Regional health plan Independent Health®, who serves nearly 380,000 members in western New York, recently joined HealthSparq’s SVP of Product, Matt Parker, to discuss what they’ve learned from members on the topic of provider directories, how HealthSparq is approaching provider directories, and steps plans can take to improve their provider directory experience.
Create Member Stickiness with Your Provider Directory:
- Your provider directory isn’t just a phone book. Don’t make your members feel like they’re flipping through a multitude of pages, looking at provider names, numbers, and addresses. You want to provide a better provider directory experience. Through enhanced data elements like photos, reviews, and availability of telehealth, you can improve member engagement and satisfaction, and to equip your members with the information they need to make decisions about their care. Boost trust in your plan and network by giving your members a search experience that’s customized to their unique coverage and benefits status.
- Keep it simple. Members want a quick and simple way to access reliable provider data, so they can address their health care needs in a timely manner. Don’t over complicate the user experience. Provider directory data can be a lynchpin in accelerating member journeys and meeting members where they are. Finding care should be as simple as saying, “Hey Siri, ask Independent Health where is the nearest urgent care,” and receiving a straightforward answer with the details needed to act. Make it easy for members to find providers for their medical, prescription, vision and dental needs all in one place, and give them the option to connect to telehealth or book an appointment directly from their search.
- Think longitudinally. The provider directory plays a key role in benefit inquiry conversations. When a member logs in to their health plan’s portal, they have a set of questions in mind like: Is it covered? How much will it cost me? Where can I go? Be mindful of the member journey that begins when a person searches for a provider. Consider integrating coverage and cost information to give your members a more complete experience that aligns with their needs.
- Experiment with how to best reach the member. Traditional member communications may not always be the right way to engage your members. For example, sending a generic email reminding all members about their annual checkup may go ignored. However, personalizing member communications using provider directory data resulted in >300% higher responses for Independent Health.. Choose the right data elements to include in your provider directory and you will collect information that will allow your members to feel a more personal connection. In doing so, you are more likely to close gaps in care by encouraging your members to take action.
- Think outside the directory. Meet members where they are and where they will be. For instance, maybe you send your member a text message reminder to schedule their annual checkup, but the member doesn’t currently have a PCP. The linkin the text message should go directly to your provider search tool to help them select a PCP. Take it to the next level, by also providing the option to schedule an appointment. Don’t rely on members to find and use the provider directory tool on their own. Members don’t want to click on several different links to find the tool they need. 48% of members say that health plans should make it easier to find information. Put your provider search tool in the right place at the right time and your members will be appreciative.
- Close gaps in care. All health plans have members with addressable care gaps. Targeted outreach can encourage them to find providers, resulting in more net-new patients for the providers in your network. Additionally, addressing these care gaps can save money for both the plan and your members.
Many health plans choose HealthSparq as their trusted partner to meet their business and member engagement goals. Interested in learning about how HealthSparq can help revamp your provider directory search experience to deliver what members want and need in their search for care? Reach out to us today to schedule a demo.