Healthcare Reviews Not Managed Are Unfair for Both Physicians and Patients

Online reviews have become essential for both patients and physicians. Over 90% of patients use reviews as part of their healthcare provider selection process. Data shows that healthcare providers’ online reviews do not correctly convey their actual patient satisfaction level since unhappy patients are the most likely to leave an online review.

When healthcare providers manage their online reputation, they can get online reviews from both happy and unhappy patients, resulting in their online reputation accurately portraying how their patients feel about them. Thus, aligning reviews with actual patient satisfaction helps patients pick the right provider when selecting a doctor based on their online reputation.

Here is a more in-depth look at the importance of managing your online reputation:

Critical Importance of Managing Patient Reviews

A significant reason why you should take patient reviews seriously is that they have become the first place patients look for physicians with satisfied patients. Patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. Therefore, online reputation creates the first impression on potential patients.

To better understand the importance of managing patient reviews, we analyzed data of our clients, by specialty, who started managing their reviews through our online reputation management software – RepuGen.

Once they started using the software, their total number of reviews and average star ratings on different review sites increased. Still, we found that their overall actual patient satisfaction levels stayed around the same, as shown in the tables below.

The table below shows the number of online reviews each specialty had before using RepuGen, and the number of reviews that those specialties had after using RepuGen:

Specialty # of Reviews Before Using RepuGen # of Reviews After Using RepuGen
Cardiology (47 providers) 41 527
Dentist (7 providers) 112 575
Dermatology (31 providers) 338 718
Primary Care (440) 2740 14872
Urgent Care (113 providers) 233 770
Neurology (52 providers) 111 1048
Pediatrics (40 providers) 137 766
Orthopedics (26 providers) 55 519
Oncology (30 providers) 109 281

The table below shows the average review score (on a scale of 5) that each specialty had before using RepuGen, and the average online review score after using RepuGen. Please note that a patient would not consider a provider with less than 4.0 star ratings.

Specialty Review Score Before Using RepuGen Review Score After Using RepuGen
Cardiology (47 providers) 4 4.6
Dentist (7 providers) 4.3 4.4
Dermatology (31 providers) 3.4 3.7
Primary Care (440) 4 4.6
Urgent Care (113 providers) 3.8 4.1
Neurology (52 providers) 3.6 4.4
Pediatrics (40 providers) 4.3 4.7
Orthopedics (26 providers) 3.7 4.3
Oncology (30 providers) 3.8 4.1

The below table compares each specialty’s average patient satisfaction score (on a scale of 10) when they started using RepuGen and their satisfaction score as of now (5/12/2020).

Specialty RepuScore
(30 Days After Started Using RepuGen)
RepuScore Now
Cardiology (47 providers) 9.5 9.6
Dentist (7 providers) 9.7 9.5
Dermatology (31 providers) 9.4 9.5
Primary Care (440) 9.3 9.4
Urgent Care (113 providers) 8.9 8.9
Neurology (52 providers) 9.2 9.3
Pediatrics (40 providers) 9.3 9.3
Orthopedics (26 providers) 9.7 9.6
Oncology (30 providers) 9.5 9.6

So What Does This Mean?

Managing your online reputation will give prospective patients a better understanding of how your patients truly feel about your practice, which will help them make a more informed decision.

Achieving Constructive Online Reviews

Physicians or health care organizations should examine patients' comments and ratings on online review sites and compare them to their actual patient satisfaction levels. They should ask patients for feedback and online reviews through automated surveys to start improving their online reputation to work towards matching it to their actual patient satisfaction.

Contact RepuGen for more information about managing your online reputation and proactive steps you can take to align your online reviews with your actual patient satisfaction level.

  • Reviews If Not Managed Can Hurt Patient Acquisition Efforts

    Patients now trust online reviews more than recommendations from family or friends. 43% of patients even go out of their insurance network to choose a provider with favorable reviews. Since many patients now use online reviews to narrow down provider choices, and since online reviews typically understate the actual patient satisfaction, online reputation not appropriately managed can hurt patient acquisition efforts.

    We understand that most healthcare providers are patient-centric, and all they need to do to improve their online reputation is to get more of their patients to leave online reviews.

    Additionally, with constructive reviews and patient feedback, physicians can take appropriate measures to increase their quality of care and patient satisfaction.

  • Reviews If Not Managed Can Prevent Patients from Making the Best Selection

    If your online reviews do not closely match the actual level of quality care that you are providing at your practice, it can prevent potential patients from selecting you. Patients will not be able to make an informed decision as your online reviews would not truly reflect how your patient base feels about your care.

    Additionally, physicians or healthcare organizations need to respond publicly to reviews and rectify any mistakes or misunderstandings. At the same time, they must respond within HIPAA standards. Responding to online reviews to thank patients for feedback or addressing issues will help patients to see you care about feedback and help them to make the best selection.

Achieving Constructive Online Reviews

Physicians or health care organizations should examine patients' comments and ratings on online review sites and compare them to their actual patient satisfaction levels. They should ask patients for feedback and online reviews through automated surveys to start improving their online reputation to work towards matching it to their actual patient satisfaction.

Contact RepuGen for more information about managing your online reputation and proactive steps you can take to align your online reviews with your actual patient satisfaction level.

Healthcare Reputation Management

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Ajay Prasad

Ajay Prasad is the founder and CEO of RepuGen, a leading healthcare reputation management solution that helps practices grow through regular review generation, patient recovery, and retention. Ajay believes that providing clients with the opportunity to take control of their online reputation will improve patient experience and the overall success of the healthcare business. See how RepuGen can help you.