Tuesday, August 22, 2017

If You Are a Doctor and are Having Your Online Reputation Monitored and Managed - You *Should* Be!

Healthgrades logo.png
If you are a doctor who trends more to the late Baby Boomer or Gen-X designation you might not be as likely to use and interact with business ratings sites such as Yelp, for example.
However, your Millennial patients are… and they use them frequently. Both commenting and reading the comments and ratings from other users are very common for that particular demographic.  To that end, if a doctor is not paying any attention to what people are saying and commenting about them online, they have no idea of what potential new patients are learning about them.
To complicate things a bit more, there are now a few health specific ratings sites such as HealthGrades that allow patients to rate and comment about any of their healthcare provides.
Just like any other business, healthcare practices are being discussed and rated by both types of sites (health specific and general business).  Because of that it is extremely important for doctors to know what is being said and how they are rated.  In this day of instant interaction, we’ve actually had patients gives us ratings and comments both from the reception area and their car in our parking lot.  If you are not making an effort to see these, you may be suffering from poor ratings and not even know.
Some of these sites will let you setup an alert so that if you are mentioned you can then go and see your rating & review.  This is especially important if a patient gives a negative comment or score.  Lots of research shows that the faster you respond (and it needs to be public) the better you are seen in the eyes of others even if the review is poor.  Publicly responding & encouraging the person to call your office goes a long way toward turning a negative into a positive.
The other nice thing about reviews and tracking them is to be able to share positive comments and ratings with the staff.  We regularly go over our survey results and scores in staff meetings so the entire team is well aware of how we are doing.  Also, if someone gives a particular staff member a positive comment, finding out about the same day allows me to let that team member now what a great job they did and how thrilled the patient was with their encounter.  Once again, this re-emphasizes our office commitment to our patients while letting the team member know what an outstanding job they did.

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