Online Physician Review Sites Promote Accountability

It seems like in this day and age we can review everything. From our Uber driver to our local eatery, rating systems and online review sites have become the primary way that we judge our products and services, so why should it be any different for physicians and other healthcare professionals? Well, a rise in online physician review sites has begun to change the dynamic between doctor and patient.

In fact, Seventy-eight percent of providers say that online physician reviews cause them stress, despite the fact that about a half of patients think the reviews are useful, according to a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Patients now have taken control of their physician search, causing many doctors to worry about his or her reputation. However, this new shift in dynamic will also hold physicians accountable at all times.

Online Physician Review Sites

Promote Transparency

While doctors may be apprehensive about being reviewed like the local Taco Bell or Uber driver, this is a chance to promote transparency with patients. These online physician review sites can help attract new patients and show that your practice is willing to adapt to this new technology. Delivering this level of transparency honors the patient and acknowledges the growing health care consumerism movement—patients want and expect ready access to comparative performance information in order to decide where and from whom they should seek care. It also reflects the increasing recognition that sharing such information with patients earns their trust, and it challenges providers to be the best that they can be in order to meet patients’ needs. Remember that you can use these online physician review sites to your advantage.

Patient Behavior

According to a study done by Software Advice in 2014, a whopping 84 percent of patients surveyed consult a reviews website with some frequency to view or post comments and ratings of healthcare staff. It’s safe to say that these online physician review sites aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s important that you’re able to tailor your practice towards your patients. Taking note of what your patients are saying about you is a great way to not only hold yourself accountable but to make changes as well. Perhaps your waiting room does not feel comfortable. In this case, it might be time to redecorate.

Another finding that isn’t too surprising: More than twice as many patients seek information about a doctor’s accuracy of diagnosis than seek any other kind of care-quality information on reviews sites.

According to a study by the Institute of Medicine, “most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.” Checking out online reviews appears to give patients some peace of mind about their chosen provider’s track record when it comes to diagnosing health issues. This is yet another reason why it’s important that you maintain transparency and examine the behavior of your patients. Knowing what they are looking for will help your practice become a better healthcare provider.

Making Changes

The biggest thing to take away from the rise in these online physician review sites is to know that you can use these review sites to your advantage. You’ll be able to promote the transparency of your practice as well as make changes based on what future-patients are looking for. It’s time to adapt to the new technology, so make sure you’re providing five-star service.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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