Patients want to trust doctors who are trusted by other people. So, the world of online physician reviews is vitally important to medical office management groups. Your patients, and potential patients are on Yelp, HealthGrades and different social media sites making recommendations, voicing their opinions and deterring others from visiting certain physicians. A recent survey conducted reveals who is turning to online reviews to research doctors, when they’re using the information and what they’re looking for within the reviews.
A key take away from the sample of 4,515 patients in the U.S. is that patients are most likely to use online reviews of doctors as a starting point in finding a physician. While there are several online review sites for medical practices, HealthGrades, Yelp and Vitals are recognized as the most used. Most physician practice management companies will recommend that your medical practice is listed on at least the leading two patient review sites – HealthGrades and Yelp.
On Yelp, medical clinics, and physicians get ranked just like restaurants or retail stores. It’s a simple 5-star grading scale that gives the patient the ability to leave comments and explain why they offered a particular star rating to their doctor. Your practice manager will be happy to know that the majority of Yelp health field reviews are good. NPR reports there are far more 5 star ratings than 1 star. Also noted in an NPR report, is that the majority of doctor reviews on Yelp include comments on non-medical issues like billing, the front office staff and wait time. With the focus of many physician practice managers moving to the patient’s total experience, it’s easy to see how a review of the environment and non-medical staff is important for your medical office’s success.
Patients can logon to leave their review of a doctor anonymously on HealthGrades. Reviewers are asked to complete a survey about the physician they wish to review, but must first register with an email and phone number. Some practice managers use analytics from HealthGrades as a consulting firm type report for their office. The physician review website also offers information on doctors’ board certifications, types of procedures offered, and which insurance plans offices accept. Users can log on to HealthGrades to search their area for a particular doctor or medical office, giving them access to reviews and certification information.
Is there a secret formula to getting positive reviews on any physician rating website? DrScore.com says a survey of 36,000 patients says yes, there is a simple way to get better doctor reviews online – get your patients out of the waiting room faster and spend more time with them in the exam room. While the solution may seem simple, this is a challenge many medical managers have been dealing with for years. Each patient wants to feel like their time is valued, they are appreciated as a client and they want to feel they have an actual connection with the doctor. The average patient doesn’t want to wait any longer than 15 minutes in the waiting room and they expect no fewer than 10 minutes of face time with the doctor, reports DrScore.com. While patients expect the physicians to be professional, certified and up-to-date on the most recent medical practices, the large majority of online doctor reviews spend more time discussing the office environment, front office staff, and billing practices. So, before a practice management solutions company suggests you strengthen your physician line-up, investigate the other areas of your office and see where the improvement is really needed.