Patient Direct Connect gives health systems a competitive advantage over organic listings



It is important to understand the exponential value Patient Direct Connect (PDC) brings to clients beyond what they see from organic listings on To provide maximum value to clients, we continually gauge the effectiveness of our PDC program through case studies such as these.

Using a Healthgrades PDC program, a Northeastern hospital client in an urban environment performed an A/B test to determine its effectiveness. They changed the standard physician profiles that appear during search to the PDC-enabled profiles, and then back again. Results were worth noting: the physicians partnered through the PDC program saw an average of 60% more existing patients retained and 150% more new patients acquired.


The study involved a 3-month pilot that placed participating physicians into A/B test groups. The study created two equal groups, controlled for provider characteristics: previous traffic, specialty, Patient Experience Survey score, Patient Experience Survey volume, and provider gender. All physicians were employed by the health system.

These providers had a mix of specialties, with 35% comprised of primary care, family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. The study measured the value of PDC partnership in terms of profile visits, calls and referrals (call center handoffs to the health system/practice). Both groups had 93 providers apiece. Each group ran with the programming on for two weeks, and then off for two weeks. This repetition continued over the course of the test.

Patient Direct Connect Advantages

PDC partnered providers receive preferred placement, including:

  • Specialty search result (ie. family medicine). When the providers were turned on, they rotated within the top three listings regardless of how well they matched within the organic listings.
  • When a consumer viewed a competing health system provider, the partnered providers were offered as an alternative, directly within the competitor’s profile.


When clients partnered with healthgrades PDC, competitive organizations realized a 40% decrease in their appointment opportunities. Internet traffic moves away from the competitive brand and to the PDC-partnered health system. Further funneling can be maximized through re-engagement programs like post-call email campaigns and CRM.


Healthgrades Patient Direct Connect targets consumers in a given market by differentiating providers and brand from those of the competition. Featured placement on increases opportunities to promote your brand to both new and existing patients, adds to market share, and improves conversions for your providers and brand. Only Healthgrades engages consumers with your brand beyond the initial website visit, giving them a post-call email with information on your providers and branding.

A PDC partnership with Healthgrades positively impacts existing patient and new patient volume, while keeping them from your competition. Because we contractually guarantee all call volumes, you never have to worry about not realizing return on investment.

Details & Data


Patient Acquisition (PDC)


A/B Test over 3-month period shows participating profiles see:


more existing patients calls


more new patients calls


ROI from net new patients alone


reduction in appointment opportunities for competitors

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