BHA - Transparency and Trust — Online Patient Reviews in Healthcare

Thursday 30 November 2017 by Graciela Rojas
Up to 92% of today's consumers are putting their trust in online reviews, meaning that healthcare providers need to carefully monitor their online presence - if they're not already. Fortunately, Best Hospital Advisor provides simple patient satisfaction surveys that make it easy to stay on top of your online brand.

The world of healthcare is inherently siloed,  tethered,  fragmented and prone to poor communication and collaboration.  Today, healthcare workers solve their problems via traditional methods that are often costly, inefficient, nor timely.  Increasingly, more savvy healthcare workers are looking outside the system to digital media and communities for answers, but are challenged with uncertainty over concepts of usefulness, practicality, bandwidth issues, “ROI” and privacy concerns. Establishing a digital presence is rapidly becoming a necessity for healthcare professionals, medical practices, and institutions.  Many have recognized this fact… yet many more have not.

At its heart, digital media is about people, it is about relationships, and it is about communication.  An online presence is about educating, engaging and growing your audience, improving outcomes, compliance and potentially the bottom line of your practice. Physicians used to enjoy the ability to get to know their patients and the stories they had to tell.  The pressures brought on by fiscal, policy and political will has changed that.  We knew our patients, their families, the impact their issue was having on their quality of life as well as relevant important events in our patient’s lives.  There are those that believe that technology drives a wedge between the patient and the physician.  Alongside the other advantages noted,  strongly argue that the proper understanding and use of digital media can aid us in recovering that relationship we once enjoyed and cherished.

According to a recent AMA study, which also cites a study by the Pew Internet Research Group, in 2011, nearly 80% of internet users, or 60% of all adults, have searched online for health information. These empowered or engaged patients are not just using the Internet to become more educated about their medical issues, but they are actively seeking advice as well as support. Currently, the source of this “advice and content comes from a few engaging providers, a few engaging institutions, but most patients are exposed to a significant amount of commercialized nonsense driven by a profit motive.

Simply put, social networking and digital technology enables individuals, physicians, hospitals, and patients to create online profiles and connect with one another. 
Some doctors may assume the best way to protect online reputation is to delete negative comments and hide behind security settings on Facebook or Twitter. But if people suddenly can’t find you after reading a negative review, it raises questions. Keep in mind that everyone from celebrities to unknown clerks is at risk of facing negative online content about them. 

Each and every physician who chooses to establish a digital presence will do so for different reasons.  For the vast majority of you, your main goals will be to increase your patient load, improve your office efficiency and streamline your practice workflows. Some of you may choose to enter the digital world in stealth mode simply to monitor your online reputation.  Opportunities, for those who are interested, expand way beyond these limited, productive, and worthwhile goals.

The most meaningful reason to establish a presence is that patients can find you and perhaps learn a bit more about your perspective, approach, and rapport with your patient base.  Second would be your ability to replicate the content that you share with forty or more patients every day in your office.  Why not convert that to print form and benefit from the fact that that content is now available to anyone who wishes to read it? There is far too much-commercialized nonsense bombarding our patients online.   We can go a long way to drowning out a lot of the worthless content that Google references for a typical orthopedic search.  Some of the other more meaningful reasons to be present in digital media include establishing a robust two-way communications portal with your patients. Providing patients with the ability to connect to or engage with your practice. Other reasons to establish an online presence include providing your patients with meaningful content, sharing health-related information with your patients, managing your reputation, humanizing the healthcare encounter, sharing news about recent talks you may have given, mentioning community outreach programs that you are running, and certainly offering customer service initiatives that consumers have grown accustomed to.

In order to improve online reviews, patient retention, and your overall reputation, it’s a wise strategy to make follow-up phone calls a standard practice. Since you can’t always tell if a patient will return, it’s helpful to find out after a visit what they thought about their experience. It gives you the chance to clear up any lingering questions or doubts they may have.

Follow-ups can be effective ways to persuade negative patients to change their attitudes and even reviews about your service.  Best Hospital Advisor which provides a transparent health care platform where consumers can access, provide feedback and engage in their own health care decision-making while it’s a good tool for providers can continuously improve their strategies to provide quality care services.

such as:
  • Direct communications channel with patients
  • Global exposure platform to a worldwide audience of potential patients
  • Dashboard to visualize and management of key process indicators
  • Capability to request, capture and publish patient reviews in 65 specialties and 1,300 services

Best Hospital Advisor (BHA) aims to provide the most detailed, accurate and timely feedback on patient experiences in healthcare to help consumers shop for care and rate their providers. BHA acts as a public portal that aims to empower consumers, enhance transparency and transform healthcare into a global marketplace. Lear more here These days online reviews are very important to influencing others to consider a business. Your goal of improving online reviews, patient retention, and customer satisfaction can be achieved with different softwares and your determination to provide excellent service. Encouraging patients with incentives to post positive reviews adds to this winning strategy.
It is crucial to protect your online reputation as a doctor since many patients now based decisions on online reviews. Stay on top of your own online content and consider hiring someone to manage your online reputation.