Physician Reviews: Patient Experience Trumps Skills

physician reviewsHow important are physician reviews

In healthcare, branding sometimes is reduced to its most basic component and it’s not what most physicians would thing about first.

Unless a patient is victim of malpractice, it’s very difficult for them to evaluate a physician medical skills.

On the other hand, patients have expectations in terms of experience and oftentimes, that experience will drive their perception of the physician or the healthcare facility.

According to a recent study of physician review websites released in April 2013 by Vanguard Communications, poor customer service and bedside manners are the biggest complaints on online medical review sites, trumping by far poor medical skills

  • 43.1 percent of the negative reviews complained about doctor indifference and bedside manner
  • 35.3 percent were about poor customer service including staff rudeness, erroneous billing, unprofessional dress and facilities not being hygienic.
  • 21.5 percent highlighted a lack of physician skills

To stand out of the crowd, just like any business, healthcare professionals need to start thinking about their brand holistically, in term of patient experience from beginning to end.

What does that mean?  That means evaluating and improving each point of contact with the patient, from the website, social media, printed material, telephone demeanor, front office staff,  assistants, nurses, bedside manners, parking lot, waiting room … to improve patient and caregivers’ experience

Think in term of great experience and patients and caregivers will flock to review sites and sing your praise.

What’s in it for you? Increasingly patients are going online for healthcare information and  to choose healthcare professionals based on peer reviews and referrals.

In addition, positive reviews improve your website organic search rankings which in turn, means better visibility and more patients and referrals.

There is no downside

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