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Improve the Patient Experience with Ratings or Else

April 21, 2014

patient reviews

Fifty-nine percent of respondents reported physician rating sites to be “somewhat important” or “very important” when choosing a physician…


The above statement was pulled directly from a publication in the February issue of The Journal of American Medical Association. At Quaintise, reputation management is a puzzle piece in the host of digital services we offer our healthcare clients, but an extremely important puzzle piece, nonetheless.

Among those who sought online physician ratings in the past year, 35% reported selecting a physician based on good ratings and 37% had avoided a physician with bad ratings.

Let that simmer for a bit. Thirty-seven percent of respondents had avoided a physician with bad ratings. That one statement should be extremely telling. Ratings, testimonials and reviews on third-party websites such as Yelp, Vitals and Healthgrades do absolutely and positively impact a potential patient’s perception of a physician, and can greatly impact that potential patient’s decision making process.

For those who had not sought online physician ratings, 43% reported a lack of trust in the information on the sites.

This should be another statement that physicians should pay close attention too, because as these review sites become more and more credible and respected by the public, more patients will use them and trust them.

What can you do, as a physician working to improve your online reputation? Follow these steps:

1. Improve the Patient Experience – From the moment a potential patient seeks out information on your practice and your physicians, the patient experience essentially starts. And so every aspect of that patient experience must be identified and improve upon. This includes the process before the patient walks through your doors, through the appointment, and including follow up contact.

2. Make Yourself Available – Fifty-seven percent of consumers said that a hospital’s social media connections would strongly affect their decision to receive treatment at that facility. Maintaining a strong presence on social media platforms is much like having an open-door policy – patients feel comfortable walking through that door and talking to you at any time. This open-door policy that social media offers both physicians and patients can greatly improve the overall patient experience. With greater availability, patients will feel more cared for and more willing to share pertinent information.

3. Transparency – From a bad review to a Top Doc award, digital media allows physicians to be completely transparent with their patients. Transparency builds trust and credibility.

4. Brand Awareness – Make yourself prominent not only online, but in your neighborhood. Get your name out there, as they say. And if you want your patients to follow you on Twitter or Facebook, simply make those requests prominent within your offices. Let your patients know you maintain these accounts and invite them to join you.

5. Outreach – Get involved within your community. Take opportunities to make a difference, even a small difference, by volunteering or sponsoring a food drive. Lift your brand name up by taking the message behind the brand and translating it into social good. At some point within your career you will receive a bad review, however if you can lift your brand beyond a bad review with social good you can beat the percentages.

Ultimately, we live in a digital age when you need to be your best at all times while on the clock. One bad review won’t make or break your practice, and some of the greatest brand moments are turning those bad reviews into positive ones, but it’s your responsibility to do your very best to avoid bad reviews. Talk to the professionals at Quaintise for more information.