How Important Are Online Patient Reviews to Practices?

Most patients use online reviews as first step to find new doctor; form an opinion from one to six reviews
Most patients use online reviews as first step to find new doctor; form an opinion from one to six reviews

HealthDay News — Most patients are using online reviews as a first step to finding a new doctor, with 65% forming an opinion from reading 1 to 6 reviews, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

In order to increase the chances of receiving a review, doctors should be proactive in asking patients for feedback, either at the end of the visit or through e-mail or text message; encouraging feedback in general will make patients more likely to oblige. 

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When patients have an amazing story to tell about the practice, they are usually willing to share it on social media. Many practices ask patients if they have had a good experience, and if so, ask them to consider sharing it online. Other things doctors can do to encourage patents to post on review sites include listing the practice with online review sites, incentivizing staff to encourage patients to post reviews, and spotlighting patients who left positive reviews in marketing materials. Physicians should also address negative reviews, by listening and showing that they have heard, but physicians should never respond with anything that could violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. 

"Keeping a well-monitored, highly engaged review profile will not only help doctors respond to and appease negative reviewers, but it gives them valuable insight on areas of the business they can make improvements in," according to the article.

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