Ascension Ventures, the investment arm of hospital giant Ascension, is putting money into online reputation management.
Ascension Ventures was part of a group that recently invested $20 million in Reputation.com, one the largest and most influential providers of online reputation-management services.
Reputation.com has a suite of products that helps companies see what consumers are saying about them on social networks and review sites. It also offers ways for those companies to engage the consumers to try to troubleshoot problems and turn negative feedback to at least neutral reviews.
Ascension Ventures raises pools of money to invest in emerging technology. Some of its big investors are other not-for-profit hospital systems.
“Our health system partners are seeing a shift in the ways patients decide where and from whom they receive care and are turning to the same channels they rely on for other consumer purchasing decisions to share their experiences—online reviews and social media,” said Matt Hermann, senior managing director of Ascension Ventures.
Hermann said Reputation.com has analytic tools to help healthcare organizations engage patients online and better understand how well they are doing with the consumer experience.
Catholic-sponsored Ascension is the nation's largest, not-for-profit hospital company with 141 hospitals and fiscal 2016 revenue of $21.9 billion.
Ascension Ventures joined several other funds in Reputation.com's latest round of financing. The others were August Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Icon Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Focus Ventures.
St. Louis-based Ascension is embracing the new online and mobile economy. Last month, it became the first large hospital system to partner with the on-demand Lyft service to ensure that patients can conveniently get to and from appointments.
Lyft is rolling out a non-emergency medical transportation business across the country.
Ascension facilities are located in 24 states and the District of Columbia.