Steward Health Care Partners with Yext to Provide World-Class Care in the Communities Where Patients Live
"Yext solved a bet-your-business problem for us, which was, ‘How do you connect services with customers?’ Buying a physician practice with up to one hundred doctors is a big investment. We could see through our website traffic that we were having difficulty getting the right patients to the right physicians. Yext seemed to have this problem figured out really well — plus they are easy to work with and simply great partners."
Steward Health Care is a community-based healthcare organization headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. With 3,500 physicians, 18 hospital campuses, and 25 affiliated urgent care provider locations, the company provides access to both primary care physicians and a full range of specialists who are committed to meeting the needs of local patients. As an integrated, cost-effective, accountable care organization (ACO), Steward is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care in the communities where patients actually live. Steward is widely recognized as a national leader in implementing a new model of integrated healthcare delivery, and its model takes care of patients from wellness and care management, all the way through their end of life.
“We are the second largest healthcare provider in New England, by size, and we are the fifth largest employer in the state of Massachusetts,” states Brian Carty, Chief Marketing Officer. “We have 3,500 doctors treating three million patients a year. People know what we stand for and that we are an alternative to the old model of delivering healthcare. When we founded Steward, there was room — if not a requirement — for a new model of actually delivering healthcare. The old model of delivering healthcare with an academically-oriented hospital as the hub or focus, we think, is an antiquated model in terms of clinical delivery, in terms of economics, and in terms of patient convenience. Our hospitals can deliver 80-90% of what gets delivered at academic medical centers. It’s the same quality but 20% cheaper.”
Steward focuses on wellness as opposed to treating illness. “We want to keep people out of hospitals,” Carty explains. “In terms of clinical delivery, we basically anticipated Obamacare by two or three years. We had the advantage of building this thing from scratch — not having to weld together pieces of a legacy system, the way partners or a 200-year-old organization would. We could just wipe the slate clean and decided to build a delivery system based on the requirements of Romneycare. All of Steward’s clinical delivery, the way we treat patients, the way we get compensated, and where we are located is based on that model — which is what we had hoped would happen,” recounts Carty.
Carty is keenly aware of the correlation between a strong online presence and patient satisfaction. “Steward’s mobile presence is key,” he states, “for both our doctors and our patients.” As patients increasingly turn to online resources for medical care, it becomes all the more critical for healthcare systems to ensure that their digital knowledge is easy to find and correct — everywhere.
Steward Launches Yext’s Healthcare Knowledge Engine to Ensure Patients Get the Care They Need, When They Need It
With locations serving 185 Massachusetts cities and towns, Steward needed a tool to help manage its constantly changing physician and location information. “Yext solved a bet-your-business problem for us, which was, ‘How do you connect services with customers?’ It’s the equivalent of having one hundred restaurants, but the public only knows addresses for ten of them. Good luck finding the other ninety! Buying a physician practice of up to one hundred doctors is a big investment. We could see through our website traffic that we were having difficulty getting the right patients to the right physicians. Once we realized the magnitude of the problem and compared that to the incredible amount of money we were investing in doctors and facilities, fixing it became paramount. Yext seemed to have this problem figured out really well — plus they are easy to work with and simply great partners.”
The Yext Healthcare Knowledge Engine enables healthcare systems such as Steward to manage the digital knowledge about their physicians and facilities across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire PowerListings® Network — over 100 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo — which patients use to find providers in critical moments of need.
Colleen Walsh, Manager of Digital Communications at Steward, is in the Yext platform daily to ensure the ACO’s physician listings are correct. “Physicians and locations change all the time — they move from practice to practice or simply change offices,” she says. “Before Yext, I was getting bombarded with, ‘Can you change my Yahoo listing?’ or ‘Can you change my Google listing?’ and it became really clear that one person cannot manage that all effectively. I’d submit to Google, I’d submit to different listings, but more requests kept coming — and coming, and coming — as more physicians kept searching for themselves to see where they were listed. Yext gives me one tool I can use to change that data once, and it updates everywhere instantly.”
Steward currently has 150 of its practices – over 750 doctors – and 18 hospital campuses live on the Yext Healthcare Knowledge Engine. Since launch, Steward has significantly improved its digital knowledge. Now with 60,000 live listings, the company has grown its overall listings presence by 500%. Steward’s facilities saw a 157% increase in Google Clicks to Website in the first 8 months of the Yext partnership, helping to drive appointment bookings. Moreover, Walsh has been able to improve the accuracy and consistency of listings substantially by correcting 58,000+ addresses, 49,000+ phone numbers, and 123,000+ website URLs, as well as by adding over 191,000+ Featured Messages to bring in patients. In turn, Steward has seen tremendous success. Listings engagement rates range between 9.3% and 14.7% for practices and doctors — significantly above the norm — while web properties have seen a massive lift in organic traffic driven by the addition of thousands of supporting backlinks from listings. As a result, Steward doctors with Yext-powered Listings have seen traffic to their profile pages on the Steward website grow by 44% post-launch.
Onboarding Yext went smoothly for Walsh. “It has been fantastic. Yext goes above and beyond. It’s more than just a tool that provides listings. Yext is a platform that provides insight beyond the listings.” Indeed, the new listings create citations and backlinks — sending traffic directly to Steward’s new physician pages — creating authority for those pages and sending strong search engine optimization (SEO) signals to Google and other search resources. “We have clearly shown Steward can expand the top of its marketing funnel with Yext,” says Carty in recognition of the results. “And we are now getting many more qualified leads for appointments.”
Looking forward, Carty and his team plan to further integrate Yext’s technology into the Steward ecosystem and its expansion. “We’ve taken a few bites of Yext and want to ensure we have this right, in order to perfect a more turnkey solution,” he says. “A next step includes adding our affiliated doctors.”
Steward considers itself the future of healthcare, and Carty understands what digital knowledge management means for that. “Mobile availability is key — both for our doctors and our patients. On the physician end, in particular, they are just so overwhelmed with data and information. The clinical world has expanded tenfold based on reporting, quality requirements, and the explosion of technology. This means that anything to make the interface with physicians streamlined, efficient, and clear is important,” points out Carty. “The old ‘ease of use’ thing is incredibly important,” he continues. “This segment of customers is the most time-starved I have ever seen! The fact that Steward is already there and has figured it out and can make it easier for them is attractive — to physicians, patients, and prospective patients.”