Outcome's image rehab rolls on with Nielsen deal for first-ever POC audience tallies

Outcome Health has inked another partnership aimed at sprucing up its battered reputation. Third-party media tracking powerhouse Nielsen has signed on to measure Outcome's point-of-care audience—a first for the POC industry, where tracking has lagged behind other media.

Nielsen has now measured patient and companion engagement, wait times and sentiment across 16 specialties in Outcome Health’s network of physician offices in the first of what will be quarterly studies. It's a move that helps put the POC company more on par with other media channels, like TV and print, in quantitative measurements of audience and engagement.

Outcome has a particular interest in adding transparent tracking and value-adds for clients after a scandal-ridden fourth quarter last year that included media accusations of its misleading advertisers followed by an investor lawsuit alleging fraud. Outcome settled with investors in January. It had already inked a contract with media auditor BPA for quarterly platform recertifications.

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“A lot of folks are recognizing that we at Outcome Health are making big investments to really help move the industry forward. The conversations that I’ve had with a handful of agencies since receiving this (new Nielsen) data have been very positive," said Outcome CEO Matt McNally. "They like the spirit and the transparency, and as we’re also sharing the BPA auditing that we’re doing, they like that we’re bringing more rigor to the point of care category—especially through a collaboration with someone like Nielsen which is obviously a very trusted third-party."

McNally joined Outcome in June, moving from Publicis Health, where he was president and chief media officer. He said the past six weeks have validated his decision to join the staff whose digital, technological and diversification he respects highly, adding “I love a rebuild story.”

To do the point-of-care tracking with Nielsen, Outcome first provided office locations in its network of connected devices where it displays content and advertising. The measurement firm then set up geofenced areas around those offices and asked mobile users there whether they would be willing to participate in a Nielsen survey.

Nielsen prescreened the audience by asking if they had been to a specific office, and if the answer was yes, asked a battery of questions that included whether the patient noticed or remembered Outcome Health iPads and boards in the waiting and exam rooms.

And they did. The first study found 85% of respondents who visited an office with an Outcome Health TV noticed the TV in the waiting room.

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Outcome is now beginning to share those data—along with more specific de-identified information on demographics, disease states and viewership across devices—with its agency partners and pharma clients, McNally said. He called this first survey a 1.0 version and said future reports should offer more data, more details and potentially an ability to answer specific content and viewing questions.

“What we’re trying to do as a parallel to this data is not only validate third-party traffic counts and potential media exposure, but also … how can these insights start to better identify the types of programming and content we should be distributing across our channels?" he said. "And how do we share those insights with our agency partners as well as provider network partners and pharma partners?”