With 81% of patients evaluating reviews before choosing a healthcare provider, your online reputation can be a make-or-break deal for getting new patients and retaining existing ones. So, why does online reputation matter so much?
If you’re a stellar practice offering top-tier care, why is it important that people talk positively about you online?
In today’s world, every healthcare provider is recognized and evaluated on the basis of their reputation through online channels. So, healthcare reputation management is all about managing what and how people think of your healthcare brand when viewed online in comparison to your actual reputation offline or in-person.
Thus, successful healthcare reputation management involves keeping your finger on the pulse of online chatter, and your practice must consistently reply to comments, questions, and reviews in order to build a better image.
A comprehensive healthcare reputation management plan involves constantly acquiring patient feedback, checking and replying to patient feedback across several review platforms, such as Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, and more. This ensures that negative comments are promptly addressed and positive comments are outwardly appreciated by your practice.
As mentioned above, with 81% of patients seeking out online reviews during their decision-making process, a strong online reputation for healthcare providers is vital. This is because a strong online reputation for your healthcare practice can also help curb a patient’s anxiety and send the message that you are to be trusted with their care.
Moreover, patients have also reported on the importance of provider reviews, with 40% not willing to visit a provider with poor reviews, and only 3% of patients not considering provider reviews when making a decision.
Moving beyond general online reputation, positive reviews and high average star ratings are significantly important to 98% of patients when choosing a new provider.
The most important review factors as reported by patients are sentiment expressed in a review (37%), average star rating (19%), number of reviews (16%), responses by providers (15%), and recency of reviews (13%).
When it comes to average star rating for a healthcare practice, 44% of patients require at least a 4-star rating, 23% require 4.5 stars, and 8% require a 5-star rating. This data shows that a large group of patients view an average star rating of 4 or higher as a necessity for choosing a healthcare provider.
Reviews can either be for individual doctors as well as for practices as a whole. Data shows that 59% of prospective patients check both provider and practice reviews, while 23% check only the doctor’s reviews, and 18% check a practice’s reviews. A comprehensive healthcare reputation management plan will focus on both doctor and practice reviews.
The number of reviews is also an important factor that patients consider, seeing that 65% of patients under 60 years old read ten or more reviews before making a decision. Providers should have at least 10 reviews to be able to begin building a positive online reputation.
In the overall process of a patient choosing a new provider, there are several factors at play. The most important factors that patients consider when choosing a new provider include family and friend referrals (23%), how well known the doctor is in the specific specialty (18%), and online reviews (16%).
With all the given data above, it’s clear that online reviews can make or break a new patient acquisition. Online reviews provide a certain level of social proof to prospective patients and can indicate how good (or bad) a practice is at patient care. Not just that, a strong, positive online reputation can help to alleviate a patient’s anxiety and begin the trust-building process early on while helping you increase your search engine rankings.
Also, if you and your practice have positive reviews, it is easier to attract potential new patients because what appears at the top of the search results is what people see, believe, and respond to.
Lastly, positive patient reviews and a good online healthcare reputation will help you grow your healthcare brand, and more of your current patients will be willing to recommend your practice to friends, family, and coworkers, thus, improving your patient base.
Actively acquiring and managing your online reviews is imperative to your reputation as a healthcare practice. A successful online reputation management plan comes from having targets and goals that your practice can strive to meet.
Online healthcare reputation management is one of the best ways to ensure that your healthcare organization stands strong against competitors while keeping the needs of the patient front and center.
Your healthcare reputation management plan should include the following to improve your online reputation.
Without actively recruiting and encouraging patients to leave a review, most patients will not take the time to write one. Sporadic, passive reviews are not enough to improve your online reputation.
Divide tasks and responsibilities to staff who will be in charge of frequently checking and replying to reviews. Consider implementing reputation management software to cut down on person-hours and improve your review management strategies.
Sketch out a framework of how your practice will reply to both positive and negative reviews. Consistent and kind answers will go a long way for your reputation. Review replies, when done properly, show patients that you care while establishing trust.
Review what patients are saying about your practice to gather insights about anything that needs to change or be modified in order to increase patient satisfaction. A comprehensive healthcare reputation management software can help greatly by providing insight dashboards from all platforms.
Now that you know how crucial it is to manage your online healthcare reputation, let’s check out a comprehensive report of your online reputation on the 7 leading online review sites that patients use for their doctor selection.
This comprehensive online reputation scorecard will measure the quality, quantity, and frequency of the reviews written. Based on that, it will then compare your score with 100s of other providers/practices within your specialty. It will also provide you with an overview of the overall sentiment of your online reputation and help you understand your strengths and weaknesses in a snapshot. So, why wait? Get your online healthcare reputation scorecard here.
Your healthcare practice’s online reputation management is a non-negotiable strategy that should be continuously improved, even if it takes a significant amount of time and dedication.
With more patients establishing their decisions for a new healthcare provider strongly based on past patient reviews these days, the effort placed into acquiring and managing your reviews will pay off.
A busy, successful practice probably will not have the tools necessary for a comprehensive healthcare reputation management plan. That’s why RepuGen offers an automated review management software that can help save hundreds of hours while still improving the patient experience. RepuGen’s proprietary software takes online healthcare reputation management to the next level. Improve your online reviews, generate more revenue, recover unhappy patients, and more!
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