It used to be that reviewers/critics were highly coveted newspaper positions. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were famous for their Chicago Tribune movie reviews. Restaurant reviewers in big city papers could make or break a new restaurant.
But today everyone is a reviewer thanks to online reviews. See a movie? Post a review on a myriad of sites. Try the salmon at the new restaurant? Post a picture and a review on Yelp. Buy a new pair of pants? Rate them on Amazon.
Get a tummy tuck? Rate the surgeon on RealSelf, Yelp, Healthgrades, or various other sites.
That last one is not a source of warm feelings for most doctors. But online reviews are becoming more and more important for potential patients. Because of that trend, it’s important that you request reviews from your patients, actively manage your profiles on the major review sites, monitor new reviews, and respond to and address negative reviews.
Some Review statistics
Doctors and patients have differing opinions about online reviews. Over three-quarters of doctors say that online reviews cause them stress, according to a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. It’s thought that this stress derives from the possibility of not having enough reviews, so a single bad or average review can skew the doctor’s rating downward.
Providers trust hospital-sponsored surveys with 62 percent feeling those provide better data. Conversely, only 47 percent of patients trust hospital experience surveys. Instead, 57 percent patients trust third-party review websites (RealSelf, Healthgrades, etc.). They assume there is bias in the hospital surveys.
A few other overall statistics:
- 92 percent of consumers now read online reviews vs. 88 percent in 2014.
- 40 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-3 reviews versus 29 percent in 2014.
- 68 percent say positive reviews make them trust local businesses more.
- 44 percent say a review must be written within one month to be relevant.
- 63 percent of patients consider online reviews as “important” or “very important” when selecting a provider.
- 37 percent of patients are likely to review their doctors after a negative experience.
- 25 percent of patients are likely to review their doctors after a positive experience.
Improve Your Patient Engagement
What do reviews mean for your practice?
Gone are the days when a patient would stay with a gruff doctor whose bedside manner was condescending and icy. Patients are now more vocal than ever about the patient experience. Beyond the care provided, they are now weighing the doctor-patient relationship, the office environment, even the service delivered by other office staff members.
And if they don’t like it, they’ll post it.
Other potential patients will then use those reviews when finding the doctor to do their tummy tuck or root canal. Patients are using sites such as RealSelf and Yelp, along with search features that filter out providers with poor reviews and rating scores, when looking for either primary care physicians or specialists.
Managing your online reputation is critical
These trends show just how important it is to manage your online reputation. As patients are more and more active voicing their reviews and using the reviews of others when making decisions, providers must listen to, manage, and respond to patient reviews and feedback. And, despite reluctance about doing it, doctors and dentists need to encourage their patients to provide online reviews.
At Advice Media, we offer tools to help manage your practice reputation. Our tools:
- Mitigate negative reviews
- Help you request reviews
- Give you a dashboard to manage your profiles across the major review sites
- Can track reviews across the review sites
- Provide 24/7 notification of any new online reviews
Today everyone’s a reviewer, but rather than seeing that as a negative you can use it to build the online reputation of your practice. Let us help you do that with our review management tools and expertise.