Among all the online databases for ratings and reviews in the US, Healthgrades tops the list as the most popular 'exclusively-for-doctors' online reviews website. This means that whenever a patient searches on Google for you or your practice, Healthgrades will most likely show up on first page of the search results. Healthgrades boasts itself for having the largest consumer audience seeking physician care with 30 million monthly visits. Also, it holds a database of 3 million doctors, dentists, hospitals, and other healthcare providers throughout the US, which makes it the Yelp of doctor reviews. Pair the above information with Healthgrades' policy of providing information on healthcare providers (after aggregating them from publicly available resources) without getting approval from them, and you'll understand why you need to work toward improving your star ratings on it. In short, your Healthgrades reviews matter!
Dr. Archelle Georgiou, MD, and strategic advisor to Healthgrades, explains that the site's ratings give sole importance to the clinical quality outcomes which currently focus on measuring the mortality rate, and complication rates.
Healthgrades also asserts that their ratings process is completely transparent and every detail regarding the ratings is available online. Also, the ratings website reports results on all hospitals. Hospitals don't have a choice to opt in or opt out from Healthgrades' ratings. Healthgrades aggregates information about providers from publicly available governmental and commercial sources, which means that it's possible that your profile is already there and you don't know about it. In that case, what you should do is:
Healthgrades primarily focuses on showing up the overall ratings for the quality of care. Its star ratings represent a total score by patients based on different criteria such as trustworthiness, staff friendliness, average wait times, etc. (see the screenshot below taken from the HealthGrade's review submission online form) Image source: Healthgrades It also allows your patients to write written comments but comments go to the team for screening (for checking of accuracy, fakeness, policy guidelines, and other stuffs). If the team approves the comment, then only it's posted online and appears in your profile. But mostly, Healthgrades is all about its ratings, not written reviews.
Dr. Georgiou encourages patients to look for these 5 Ps in a provider for selecting them:
The first three Ps are mostly for providers to manage. This article will focus on giving out ways that will focus on improving on the last two Ps; performance scores, and personal experience (which means the positive reviews).
The fact that most of your happy patients generally skip reviewing is the prime reason that often spoils your overall ratings on Healthgrades (or any other review website) with the over-presence of the negative ratings (unhappy patients are less likely to skip venting out their frustrations) over the potentially positive ones. The best way is to ask your happy patients for reviews. However, the way you ask, and how you facilitate them to actually register their ratings will decide whether they'll comply to your request or not.
Watch the short video given below to understand how RepuGen makes the review registering process a fun and interactive one for patients.
Responding to reviews doesn't directly affects your ratings on Healthgrades. However, responding to the right reviews and using the right way certainly affect your patients' mindsets when they're there to rate you. An angry patient will cease to spit venom and write a more sensible (though negative) comment about his experience after seeing that the provider generally responds to similar comments, showing that he or she cares about them. Having finally solved their issues, you can politely ask them to rate you positively. They'll most likely comply with your request. Also, take care of these things:
A more open and vibrant platform, such as Yelp or Facebook, demands a frequent response to reviews because if you don't, your detractors will take the stage which will further damage your reputation. While Healthgrades is a conservative platform that doesn't require you to respond every time a patient leaves a review, it's better to select which reviews to respond to. You may skip the positive ones, but addressing the issues of an angry patient in an appropriate manner is always a good idea.
Negative reviews sometimes happen. However, Healthgrades allows to report reviews that seem to be fake or overly negative. If you can provide a strong proof in favor of your argument, the site will unhesitatingly remove such reviews. Fake reviews or overly negative reviews are reputation killers. They can leave a very bad impression on your prospective patients. Your angry patients may get even angrier after seeing them and rate you even worse than what they would have decided to do. Another case of spam on Healthgrades could be the repeated submissions of ratings. Image source: Healthgrades Healthgrades has a strict quality control and identity verification protocol that can help you get rid of fake or spam reviews in a matter of few days. So, if you see any suspicious review, you can flag that review (see the option underlined in orange color in the screenshot above), or contact Healthgrades customer service. The company will remove that review if provided with the clear evidence of falsification.
Keep soliciting feedback from patients for identifying your areas of improvements. Use this information to make proper adjustments to your care delivery, billing, and other key aspects of the patient experience. You can try different methods for soliciting quick feedback from your patients. Use your own preferred method – a written feedback, a call, a mail, or a text feedback. If you're a big hospital or practice with large number of physicians in your office, it's better to go the RepuGen way. It will help by sending link to each patient for easy submission of review on their respective provider's profile on Healthgrades (or on some other review website). RepuGen will also help you improve your hospital's performance the following way:
The short video below will give you the idea in a nutshell about how RepuGen helps to improve a hospital's performance.
Healthgrades confers the “recognized doctor” status to those providers who meet these criteria:
Providers with “recognized doctor” status in their states get an increased impression for all types of patient searches on Healthgrades. You can also upgrade to a premium profile on Healthgrades which, as the site claims, can generate 78% more reviews and 9 more phone calls (on an average) per month.
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