What Solutionreach’s partnership with Healthgrades means for your practice.

The recent partnership between dentistry’s leading patient messaging company and healthcare’s largest online review site promises an edge over the competition.

One of the most interesting pieces of news to come out of the Chicago Dental Society’s annual Midwinter Meeting in 2015 was the partnership announcement between Solutionreach and Healthgrades. Solutionreach is one of dentistry’s leading patient messaging companies and the only one to remain privately held (DemandForce sold to Intuit. Lighthouse360 sold to Yoddle). Healthgrades is the leading healthcare review site claiming over one million views a day. This is an exciting partnership that can benefit your practice in many ways.

I have always been a fan of Solutionreach and referred clients to them because of their commitment to innovation. In an age where online reviews function more like digital currency, Solutionreach demonstrates their understanding of just how important a relationship like this is. To their credit, SR was in the review game early. Before things heated up between Google and Yelp, they were collecting reviews from patients and posting them seamlessly to Google+. Practices that had been using SR pleasantly discovered that they were now sitting on dozens of favorable Google+ patient reviews.

That game has changed dramatically in the past few years. Google, along with many others, have realized the importance of this online currency. They have all made changes to control content by allowing only account members to leave online reviews. Overnight, dozens (and for some, hundreds) of reviews disappeared.

Solutionreach continued to collect and post their reviews online, but this time to their own site. While it’s nice to hear your patients saying great things about your practice, these reviews weren’t effecting your online search ranking nearly as much as they would on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List or Healthgrades. The good news is these dozens of reviews may be useful again.

This relationship between Solutionreach and Healthgrades launches with a few important features right out of the gate. First, as a SR client, you’ll be given the opportunity to add a “featured” profile to Healthgrades. This enhanced profile differentiates your practice from other listings and more importantly, “dramatically increases a practitioner’s visibility.” In other words, it puts you at the top of the page.

The partnership also claims practices will be able to “more effectively connect with patients.” Appointment requests will be available directly from your HG profile and will be “seamlessly integrated within the Solutionreach interface.” I would imagine many of SR’s other features would have future integration as well. Think video testimonials and social media.

While no one has come out and said that reviews will be shared and co-listed, I can’t help but think this would be the primary benefit of the partnership. If Solutionreach could get their hundreds of reviews onto a site that had legitimate pull in the SER (Search Engine Ranking) world, that would be worth every penny you invested.

I was eager to see if this might be the case, so I searched “dentist” in my area (New Albany, Ohio). The first listing to turn up was a “Featured” profile for well known orthodontist Dr. James Hutta. When clicking his profile it was easy to spot the enhanced features including the appointment request button. The most interesting piece of information here however is Dr. Hutta’s 549 patient responses. Does he really have 549 Healthgrade responses? I personally have never seen that many before. Has his office been asking every patient for the last few years to go directly to Healthgrades to leave a response?

The more likely result is that his Solutionreach reviews became integrated into his Healthgrades profile. If that’s the case, this is a genius move. I would advise every practice (that uses Solutionreach) to set up their enhanced listing right away.

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