When we’re unhappy, we want to share our feelings whether it’s vindictive to the source or not. Your patients are no exception. Whether it’s a service issue or dissatisfaction with a procedure, nearly one-third of all patients will post about their experiences on social media and review sites like Yelp, Healthgrades or ZocDoc. Count on other potential patients seeing the reviews, too. Almost all consumers now make a stop at a review site before selecting a physician. The key to an effective response is acting quickly before the feelings have time to fester.
On-going research. Survey platforms are becoming more and more popular as an on-going way to assess patent satisfaction. Both healthcare systems and practices are adopting them. They’re a good management tool for communicating with staff, e.g. “our complaints about waiting time are up 20%. Why?” In-office services are the best as they allow you to address complaints before the patients leaves the office. Make sure your survey software is HIPPA compliant. Survey Monkey is a popular option.
Intervene. Once the reviews are posted, you’ll need a policy for contacting the patient to resolve the issue and have the review taken down. Under no circumstances should you, the doctor, attempt to do it yourself. This should be the job of a marketing person or a sensitive staff person. This is a critical step to insure you totally understand the issue, the patient feels like he or she has been heard, and a resolution is proposed.
Monitor. Someone on your staff should be responsible for monitoring the major review sites. We also recommend using Google Alerts to watch other mentions of the doctors in your practice and the name of your practice. If you already have a Google account, it will just take minutes to set up. Put the alerts on a daily schedule and have them sent to a staff member.
Review sites and social media are part of life as a doctor these days. We hope you use these tips to make them work for you.