Physician Reviews Bring in Patients: How to Rate Highly
Word-of-mouth still brings in patient referrals, but a physician can goose the process by gaining more cred online. Reviews on sites like Yelp and Healthgrades can help doctors get more patients, says Gaby Loria in her post titled “How Patients Use Online Reviews.”
Binary Fountain, a patient feedback management solutions provider, sent Target Marketing a comment about the research Loria cites a couple of weeks ago.
“A recent survey by Software Advice … found that 84 percent of patients frequently consult a reviews website to view or post comments and ratings of healthcare staff and physicians,” Binary says of the research Loria summarizes. “The trend we’re seeing is more and more patients using online reviews as the main factor in selecting a doctor to see. In fact, 77 percent of surveyed respondents cited using online reviews as the first step in their search for a physician.”
To aid in potential patients’ research, Loria says doctors and healthcare marketers can:
- Designate or hire a staff member to monitor and manage the online reviews and Web presence of the practice, at large, as well as for individual physicians.
- Evaluate software programs that integrate with practice management systems to automate the process of recruiting reviews.
- Keep the patient experience in mind from intake to diagnosis, making all communications courteous and clear along the way.
[Author’s note: A bonus tip I heard from older patients who ghost their doctors — yes, that’s right, senior citizens do it, too — is that the physicians speak to them too quickly for them to understand anything about their illnesses, prognosis and treatment. Physicians are in a hurry with all of the new regulation and the number of patients they have to see each day, but those patients might not even say why they’re leaving. If you don’t have time to go over everything with patients, perhaps have someone in your office visit with the patients to see if they understand everything they’ve been told. Our Healthcare Marketing Advisory Board says half of patients stop taking their medicine within three months, because they don’t understand why they’re taking it.]
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.