Why Tracking Reviews Is Essential for Understanding Your Patients

POSTED ON: May 14, 2024

Why Tracking Reviews Is Essential for Understanding Your Patients Lauren Parr

Why Tracking Reviews Is Essential for Understanding Your Patients

In today's digital age, online reviews have become crucial in shaping patient choice when selecting a healthcare provider.

With 73% of patients admitting to considering online reviews in their decision-making process, it is clear that the power of word-of-mouth has shifted to the online realm, emphasizing healthcare providers to understand their patient experience to provide quality care and improve patient satisfaction.

Patient feedback can provide valuable information on aspects such as wait times, communication with healthcare staff, and treatment effectiveness.

By tracking reviews and feedback, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into patient experiences, identify areas for improvement, and implement necessary changes to enhance overall patient satisfaction.

This blog discusses insights about how to track patient reviews and the benefits and challenges involved in it.

Why Track Patient Reviews?

Tracking reviews is essential for understanding your patients and is a key strategy for continuous improvement and providing the highest level of care possible.

"Tracking patient reviews is crucial; it reflects our practice through the patients' eyes, highlighting areas for improvement. One review highlighted the need for more detailed pre-surgery information, prompting us to enhance our consultation process significantly. This adjustment improved patient understanding and satisfaction, underscoring the role of reviews in elevating care quality. "

David Hill

Benefits of Tracking Reviews

1. Gain Valuable Patient Feedback Beyond Traditional Surveys

A survey from Bright Local shows that 50% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family, highlighting the significance of patient feedback in shaping public perception.

By monitoring and analyzing patient reviews, healthcare providers can better understand where they are good at and where they still need to improve.

This allows providers to make informed decisions, enhance the patient experience, and ultimately improve their quality of care.

2. Identify Areas of Strength and Weakness in Patient Experience

Positive reviews can help highlight what works well, allowing providers to build on these strengths and continue delivering exceptional care.

Negative reviews can pinpoint areas requiring improvement, guide providers in addressing issues, and ultimately enhance the overall patient experience.

Healthcare providers can make positive changes by tracking reviews, improving patient experience, and ultimately driving better health outcomes.

3.Track Trends in Patient Sentiment Over Time

Sentiment analysis offers valuable insights into patient experience, healthcare provider performance, and public perception of healthcare services.

By examining and comprehending the sentiment conveyed in patient reviews, healthcare organizations can make informed decisions, enhance patient experience, and elevate healthcare delivery.

Integrating sentiment analysis into healthcare practices can result in more patient-centered care and better outcomes.

3. Improve Patient Satisfaction and Loyalty

Monitoring and analyzing patient feedback allows healthcare providers to understand their performances and the improvements needed. This allows them to make targeted service changes, increasing patient satisfaction rates.

Moreover, when patients feel heard and valued, they are likely to remain loyal to the healthcare provider and recommend their services to others.

"As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, patient reviews are vital to evaluating and enhancing the patient experience in my practice. One particular instance that stands out involves a review highlighting the importance of post-operative care instructions. The patient expressed confusion over aftercare for their scar, which indicated to me that despite our efforts, our post-operative communication could be improved. "

Dr. Kristopher M. Day
- Dr. Kristopher M. Day, MD, FACS, Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery

4. Enhance Online Reputation and Attract New Patients

RepuGen Patient Review Survey 2024 reveals that around 83.23% of patients require a minimum rating of 4 stars to consider an online review.

By actively monitoring and managing online reviews, healthcare providers can respond promptly to patient feedback and concerns, presenting a positive image to potential patients.

This positive perception can help build trust and credibility, increasing patient acquisition rates. 

"By actively monitoring and responding to patient feedback, I can ensure that my practice maintains a positive online presence, which is crucial for attracting new clients and fostering trust within the community. "

- Dr. Sam Fuller, Founder Sam Fuller Plastic Surgery

Challenges of Tracking Reviews

1. Time Commitment for Monitoring Reviews

As patients share their thoughts and feedback on various online review platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, and social media, consistently checking and responding to patient reviews can be time-consuming.

Monitoring reviews involves reading and responding to comments and analyzing trends and feedback to make improvements.

Besides, failing to monitor reviews in a timely manner can lead to missed opportunities to address patient concerns and negative feedback, potentially damaging the practice's reputation.

2. Dealing with Negative Feedback

The same survey from Bright Local indicates that 71% of consumers would not consider using a business with an average rating below three stars. This shows that negative reviews can impact a practice's credibility and trustworthiness.

Providers need to address negative feedback promptly and professionally, understand the root cause of the patient's dissatisfaction, and take steps to rectify the situation.

How to Track Patient Reviews

Various online review platforms are available, so explore and identify relevant platforms based on your needs and preferences.

According to RepuGen Patient Review Survey 2024, Google Reviews is the most widely recognized platform among patients, with 81.96% familiarity. Additionally, platforms such as WebMD and HealthGrades are also popular choices, with 57.98% and 29.61% awareness, respectively.

Once you have identified key platforms, setting up alerts for new reviews is essential to stay informed in real-time. This way, you can monitor and respond quickly to any feedback, whether positive or negative.

Utilizing a reputation management tool is another way to track patient reviews.

RepuGen aggregates and monitors patient reviews across various online platforms. So, healthcare providers can easily track and respond to positive and negative reviews, ultimately enhancing their online reputation.

Understanding Patient Reviews

Understanding patient reviews involves:

  • Analyzing the sentiment of reviews, whether positive, negative, or neutral. This can provide valuable insights into the patient experience and satisfaction, evaluating their needs and improving care quality accordingly.
  • Paying attention to recurring themes and specific patient concerns. For example, if most patients expressed concerns regarding the wait times in reviews, you can implement measures to reduce wait times.
  • Looking for patterns related to demographics or appointment types. For example, younger patients tend to be more critical of appointment wait times, while older patients prioritize bedside manner. Similarly, trends related to appointment types, such as routine check-ups versus specialized procedures, can provide important feedback. Addressing these patterns, healthcare providers can tailor their services to meet their patients' needs better.

Taking Action Based on Reviews

  • Respond to Reviews

With 88% of consumers stating they are more likely to trust and choose a business responding to positive and negative reviews.

This highlights the importance of responding to reviews. It shows that you value patient feedback and demonstrate your commitment to improving the patient experience.

  • Make the Most of Reviews

Addressing positive reviews with gratitude and acknowledgment can showcase your strengths, enhance patient loyalty, and encourage repeat visits.

58% of consumers are more likely to visit a business responding only to negative reviews. So, respond to negative reviews with empathy and a willingness to resolve issues.

This shows potential patients that you take patient concerns seriously and are proactive in finding solutions and providing growth and improvement opportunities.

  • Implement Targeted Changes

Online reviews provide valuable insights into patient preferences, allowing practices to improve accordingly.

Whether improving patient service or streamlining appointment scheduling, implementing changes based on reviews can lead to tangible improvements that resonate with patients and drive long-term success.

"Tracking patient reviews has been an indispensable tool for understanding our patients' needs, experiences, and areas for improvement. A specific instance that stands out to me involves a series of reviews highlighting difficulties some patients were facing with our online appointment-booking system. These reviews consistently mentioned frustrations over its usability and the lack of clarity in available slots, something our internal feedback mechanisms hadn't caught.

Analyzing these reviews prompted us to initiate an overhaul of our online booking system. We streamlined the user interface, improved the clarity of available times, and added a FAQ section addressing common questions and issues ."

Mike Breslin
- Mike Breslin, CEO, ProMed DME

Benchmarking Reviews and RepuGen's Role

Benchmarking Reviews

Benchmarking involves measuring your practice's performance, quality, and growth by analyzing the procedures and processes of others.

Benchmarking reviews involves evaluating your patient reviews against:

  • Industry Standards

Nearly 83.23% of patients require a minimum of 4 stars to even consider a review, and the average response rate for review requests is 8.3%.

By understanding your specialty's average review scores and response rates, you can constantly strive to meet or exceed industry standards and enhance the overall patient experience.

  • Competitor Performance

By comparing your reviews to those of your specialty, you can identify areas for improvement and highlight strengths.

Understanding how your practice compares to industry benchmarks can help you set realistic goals and track progress over time.

"I believe that patient feedback isn't just informative; it's a cornerstone of our strategy to meet and exceed user expectations in the Medicare supplement landscape.

Take, for example, a critical review we received that expressed a client's confusion over the differences between Medicare Plan F and Plan G. This feedback served as a catalyst for us to improve the clarity of our informational resources.

We responded by developing a series of user-friendly comparison charts and educational videos. These tools not only addressed the concerns of the initial reviewer but also streamlined the decision-making process for countless others experiencing similar issues. "

Russell Noga
- Russell Noga, CEO, Medisupps.com

Benefits

By benchmarking reviews, healthcare practices can:

  • Identify the areas where their practice outperforms the industry average.
  • Identify weaknesses and potential areas for improvement through competitor analysis.
  • Establish achievable objectives for improvement by referring to industry benchmarks.

Where to Find Benchmarks?

  • Industry Reports: Check out reports from healthcare associations or research firms that analyze patient review data for your field.
  • Online Review Platforms: Several platforms provide analytics tools that display average review scores based on industry or location.
  • Competitor Research: Review your competitors' reviews and carefully assess their strengths and weaknesses. For more insights, utilize online tools that track competitor reviews.

Using Benchmarks for Improvement

To make the most of benchmarks for your practice improvement, you must:

  • Compare your average review score against the industry standard and discover whether or not you meet patient expectations. 
  • Based on the common themes in competitor reviews, pinpoint the areas (for example, bedside manner or appointment scheduling) you still need to improve.
  • Identify areas for improvement according to benchmarking data and develop a plan to achieve the same.

RepuGen and Streamlined Benchmarking

RepuGen's review tracking system can enable to streamline the benchmarking process by offering:

  • Automated Benchmarking Data: RepuGen offers potential integrations with tools that provide industry standards and competitor review data, ultimately saving you valuable time on research.
  • Actionable Reporting: RepuGen can produce reports that analyze your performance compared to relevant benchmarks, pinpointing improvement areas.

Final Thoughts

Tracking patient reviews is essential for healthcare providers looking to improve their practice continuously.

Patient feedback is a valuable source of information that can identify areas for growth, highlight strengths, and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.

By actively listening to and engaging with reviews, healthcare providers can better understand their patients' needs and preferences, allowing them to tailor their services to meet those expectations.

Incorporating patient feedback into practice management strategies is a best practice and a necessity in today's competitive healthcare landscape, as it drives continuous improvement.

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