Online Physician Reviews

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About ten people tweeted this article on online doctor reviews at #hcsm so I thought I’d take a look. Knowing what our own Pulse360 surveys have shown about people’s interest in promotion of ratings, awards and the like, I wanted to see what this article had to say.

In articles of this sort social media gurus tell you that in all likelihood people are not saying much about you in online ratings’ systems and it’s true. The fact is: you’re just not out there. So logically, step one would be to get yourself out there. Makes sense.

But what if you are out there and the ratings or comments are unfavorable? What do you do then?

Major negative issues will require more help than this blog entry can offer. You need a pro like this one. If what people are saying are small actionable grievances, those happen hundreds if not thousands of times on eBay every day. Someone’s package doesn’t get shipped. They get an item and feel that it was misrepresented. The purchaser often heads to the seller’s rating, rates them low and airs said grievance.

For a responsible seller, this is not good. The seller often contacts the purchaser to work it out. In most cases, a seller doesn’t ignore a negative review or comment. A string of bad ratings and you now have consumers a little more likely to pass you by in favor of someone else with a better record. Now, on eBay we’re talking about buying tin lunch boxes, furniture and the occasional car.

So when it comes to what people (who are probably like you) are saying online about the pediatrician or oncologist you are researching or considering, many ratings and comments do play a supporting role in people’s decision making. Whether they are positive or negative.

If people are talking about you, don’t just lurk and listen. Do what eBay sellers do.

Participate in the conversation. If someone has been wronged, do what you can to make it right or empower someone in your office to help. Communicate policies or changes that have been made to correct a situation. Apologize if it’s warranted.

Sure there are crackpots out there and people who will complain about everything. That’s the way the world is. But the relative anonymity of the Internet often spurs people to say things they might not normally say. Especially when the one doing the talking is one of today’s empowered healthcare consumers.

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2 Responses to “Online Physician Reviews”

  1. Chris Says:

    I think what you said is right on: participate in the conversation. But I wonder: For how many doctors is that concept totally alien? And even cultivating patients to leave comments? How many physicians’ practices even consider ways to institutionalize such a request in their business? Would they hand a postcard that says, “If you are happy with my treatment please speak up at docreviews.com?” It’s a big culture change.

    • Julie Turner Says:

      It is a big change and you can either ignore it or embrace it. You can still buy VHS tapes but that doesn’t mean you should. Thanks for reading the post, Chris!

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