Defining ROI: An Interview With Ellis Carpenter

Doximity's Senior Product Strategist Digs Into Hospital and Health System ROI Methodology

May 24, 2024 | Hospital Solutions

As marketers, we love to prove impact with metrics. The ultimate metric for many is return on investment, or ROI. While ROI is a familiar concept, there are myriad ways to build an ROI methodology. We sat down with our Senior Product Strategist, Ellis Carpenter, to dig into how Doximity defines ROI for our hospital and health system partners. 

How does Doximity define ROI for hospitals and health systems?

Ellis Carpenter: Doximity defines return on investment (ROI) as the estimated value of new patients acquired through outreach on the Doximity platform. This is accomplished through an analysis of a national claims-based data set.

What is challenging about measuring ROI in the healthcare space?

EC: At any given moment, an organization has many marketing efforts underway across different channels. Teasing out the impact of one specific channel is a challenge. That’s why we take such a conservative approach. Another challenge is the time it takes to report on ROI, due to the lag between when a referring physician receives a message on Doximity and makes a referral, to when a claim is filed, to when the ROI data is captured. We recommend waiting 8 to 12 months from when the channel goes live for a full picture of ROI data.

How is Doximity’s ROI measurement more rigorous than other platforms?

EC: Doximity has a more demanding methodology that only takes credit for the value generation that can be clearly tied back to activity and efforts on the Doximity platform. We work with industry-leading claims data providers to ensure that we have strong data for running these analyses. We always take a conservative approach in attributing value and new patient generation to Doximity. Softer measures, such as estimated savings or assumption-based calculations, are not used. Even though Doximity’s ROI calculation is more conservative and precise, we continue to deliver much higher results than the competition.

How does Doximity generate such high ROI for client partners?

EC: Doximity is an extremely efficient way to reach physicians. The platform is built for them, and the newsfeed is curated for their geography and specialty, so the information is relevant and useful. And we’re hyper-precise in identifying physicians most likely to become new referrers.

What surprises client partners about Doximity’s ROI process?

EC: Partners are always surprised by the size of the referral catchment area, one or two unexpected referring specialties, and referrers’ different career stages. All of this data helps influence future program strategy.

Are there a few success stories that stand out?

EC: There are a lot, but two come to mind: Main Line Health wanted to grow its cardiovascular and surgery program in Philadelphia while competing with many well-known hospitals. Our team created a content journey that reached referring physicians and garnered 65 net new patients and a double-digit ROI.

Another health system in greater Philadelphia also had the goal of growing its cardiology volumes and raising awareness. With only 500 messages sent to potential referring providers on Doximity, they generated over $1 million in new patient value. That is quite impressive.

Can you share any insights from having conducted over 100 ROI studies for partners? 

EC: Each partner has different goals and strategies, but two things come to mind. First, we’ve seen a lot of success with partners who include advanced practice providers, including NPs and PAs, in their audience. These practitioners can be overlooked, but they are a valuable component of the primary care landscape and are active referrers. Second, avoid being too narrow in your understanding of the potential referring geography. There are a variety of reasons why patients might travel outside of their immediate geography for care, including visiting a specialist or accessing care in a more urban area. Your Doximity strategy team is a great partner in providing recommendations on your ideal geographic audience. 

Curious to learn more? Read how one partner takes their ROI analysis a step further.