Nearly 72 percent of patients use online reviews to find and select a new doctor, according to a recent survey from Software Advice. And, nearly one-third of patients review their healthcare visits online to rate their experiences. With the growing influence of word-of-mouth, it’s more important than ever for healthcare providers to pay attention to their online reputation and respond accordingly, whether they use a patient outreach software or manual management.
Favorable online reviews and ratings can skyrocket your practice’s growth, but what happens with negative ratings overwhelm your reviews? Patients have less tolerance for traditional long wait times or limited communication with the doctor, and in today’s consumer-focused market, patients aren’t keeping quiet about their experiences.
As patient expectations rise, so does the importance of executing a reputation management strategy. Patient outreach software can help you approach your online reputation management in a manner that is proactive in garnering positive reviews while also providing an opportunity to offer service recovery, when necessary.
With those goals in mind, the following are key benefits of using a patient outreach software to minimize negative ratings and drive positive reviews that reflect your practice’s diligent efforts to put the patient at the center of care.
Drive Satisfied Patients to Review Sites
Patients may not be aware that they can leave a review, or they may not know where to leave one. Rather than waiting for them to take the initiative and post about their experience online, patient outreach software can send automated surveys to patients following their visit. Using the 0-10 Net Promoter Scale® (NPS) or another quantitative measurement can be a quick way to get a pulse on your patient’s satisfaction. Patients who respond with a predetermined high experience score, such as a 9 or 10, can automatically receive links to social media review sites where they can share their positive experience with the public.
By driving satisfied patients to review sites, you can quickly increase provider and office location ratings on Google+, Yelp, and other review sites, which will help future patients make more informed decisions about choosing your practice for care. And, using an automated patient outreach software streamlines the process, quickly transferring a positive experience to a public marketing channel.
Resolve Patient Frustrations in Real-time
Second, patient outreach software can collect information about negative experiences immediately following a patient’s visit. For example, patients who respond with a low score to a survey asking them to rate their experience can be automatically routed to your management team for immediate follow-up. This allows you to respond with timely service recovery.
Best practice suggests responding to negative feedback within one business day if possible, or two days at most. Being able to respond quickly allows you to resolve the patient’s complaint and de-escalate a potential conflict while keeping the interaction offline. Real-time feedback ensures service recovery while their experience is still fresh —and before they take the time to go online, which can minimize the number of low ratings you receive. In some cases, the dissatisfied patient can even become a loyal advocate who goes on to post a positive review.
Analyze Keywords to Target the Root of Patient Dissatisfiers
Automated patient outreach software embeds an opportunity in your workflow to address patient concerns before they’re public. The negative feedback you may receive from dissatisfied patients can offer valuable insight into what is or isn’t working at your practice, including your check-in process or the provider’s bedside manner.
One way to use negative feedback is to analyze trends using keywords or aggregate scores. The benefit of using a patient outreach software is the technology behind it that allows you to leverage data to inform decision-making.
You can leverage patient outreach software to review data, including:
- Positive and negative keywords
- Feedback sentiment by day
- Provider aggregate scores
- Location aggregate scores
Through your patient outreach software, you have complete insight into how patients view your performance. You can use this data to measure performance of access, quality, and communication, validating your strengths while fine-tuning areas of improvement.
How Visalia Medical Clinic Improved their Online Reputation Using Patient Outreach Software
As the largest physician-owned clinic in California’s South Valley, Visalia Medical Clinic sought Providertech’s advanced patient experience score solution to capture patient satisfaction and encourage positive social media posting that reflects the dedication of their clinic as they transition to a pay-for-performance reimbursement model.
Visalia Medical Clinic discovered many patients only posted to review sites like Google+ when there was dissatisfaction, resulting in an unfairly skewed lower star ranking. Since HIPAA and privacy regulations made responding to these postings nearly impossible. Visalia Medical Clinic worked with Providertech’s patient outreach software to send a single text message to patients one week after their visits with the question:
“Based on your recent visit to Visalia Medical Clinic, how likely would you be to recommend our clinic to a friend or colleague? Please respond with a number from 0 (not likely) to 10 (extremely likely).”
Within the first three months of using Providertech’s patient outreach software, Visalia Medical Clinic’s online reputation improved significantly, noting the following benefits:
75% Increase in Google Star Ratings: With an opportunity to correct both operational and clinical issues before patients post negative reviews online, Visalia Medical Clinic’s Google rating increased from 2.6 stars to 4.5 stars in just 120 days.
97% Five-Star Ratings: Since patients responding with high scores were automatically routed to reputation sites, 35 out of 36 of the reviews posted throughout the first three months were five-star ratings.
Timely Service Recovery: Patient scores below a predetermined threshold are sent to the service recovery team for immediate follow- up. As a result, Visalia Medical Clinic receives fewer 1-star Google reviews than before launch.
Make a Great First Impression
Patient outreach software can help you make a great first impression online when it is used proactively to measure your patient’s experience. By using patient outreach software, you can learn how to keep your current patients happy while leveraging promoters to attract new patients. This minimizes negative reviews, which means you are more likely to have higher ratings and positive reviews online. And, positive reviews are critical to positioning your practice online, as the modern patient uses ratings and reviews to make decisions about their care.