A recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLC found individuals share more about their healthcare experiences on personal social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter than regulated review sites such as Vitals and Google. This is no surprise, as Facebook and Twitter host a multitude of ways for people to share their experiences. But what does it mean for your practice?
The graph below shows the percentage of males and females in various age groups who post about health experiences on their personal social media profiles versus those who post on public review sites. This means patient feedback is being posted in places you can’t always see or respond to without violating patient privacy.
Preventing bad posts and reviews
Reputation management should begin the second a patient walks into a doctor’s office. You should always ask patients how their visit was on their way out of the office. If they don’t respond positively, ask them how you can help fix the issue before they leave. This solves problems before they hit the web. Then have employees share how they managed patient complaints at staff meetings.
Prevent negative reviews by proactively addressing the most common online complaints:
- Access to the office: If your practice has parking problems or is inside of a hospital, let patients know of potential issues before their visit and give them proper directions when you call to confirm the appointment.
- Office Process Efficiency: If your practice receives complaints about delayed lab results or other issues related to your practice’s medical processes, work to improve efficiency. Giving patients a printed summary of their visit and an action plan to take home may be one possible solution. Patients want to know you care, even after the appointment is over.
- Wait Times: If your practice has long wait times, communicate to patients how much longer they will have to wait to see the doctor.
- Quality of facility: If the quality of your facility isn’t as nice as it could be, revamp the interior. A new set of chairs and lamps could make all the difference. You can even set plants around the office, but remember to water them! Make sure restrooms and exam rooms are clean and uncluttered.
- Office staff: If you receive complaints about office staff being rude or unfriendly, assess how each office worker interacts with the patients. A smiling and friendly attitude never causes bad reviews.