The rise of reviews in healthcare

More consumers are consulting online reviews to choose their healthcare providers. According to a survey conducted by Software Advice in 2016, 77% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. At the same time, patients are sharing their experiences with these same providers on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Professionals need to know how to conduct response to their patients while complying with HIPPA laws.

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Reviews provide insights about the patient experience  

Consulting past patients online helps new consumers to conduct the search for a new doctor, clinic or healthcare system. Reviews help to provide valuable insight from previous patients. For instance: 
  • Did the doctor provide compassionate care and answer her patient’s questions?
  • What was the practitioner’s bedside manner?
  • How long were patients expected to wait before a consultation with a doctor or nurse?
  • Was the patient’s insurance accepted, or were there surprises in the billing process?
Online testimonials offer a variety of patient feedback on what prospective patients can expect. They might also affirm whether she is making the right choices for herself or for her loved ones. Consumers must keep in mind that online testimonials sometimes represent the experiences of a select few patients. The fewer the reviews, the less likely they are to represent the patient experience with a clinician or healthcare system. As more testimonials appear, common themes may emerge that offer proof of quality care – or the lack thereof.

Positive patient reviews help healthcare providers attract more patients

Healthcare providers are aware of the importance of online reviews among prospective patients. For many healthcare providers, it is now common practice to collect testimonials and respond to feedback. UPMC is the top ranked hospital system in Pittsburgh. UPMC provides a wealth of information – including reviews – on its website. Doctors have their own pages, where patients share feedback.UPMC's website hosts individual pages for physicians and advanced care providers, which feature additional information and patient reviews.

Here’s how UPMC explains its patient survey process:

“Patients treated by UPMC physicians and advanced care providers are randomly chosen to fill out our patient satisfaction surveys. Surveys [are sent] to offer patients a chance to provide feedback about their experience with their provider. Each year, almost 180,000 of UPMC’s patients respond. Results are shared with departments and individuals for continuous opportunities to improve care.”

In the case of UPMC’s program, patients can publish public comments to individual provider pages. Dr. Mary T. Korytkowsk (pictured) has earned a 4.9 star rating (out of 5) across nearly 200 patient surveys. Patient comments on Dr. Korytkowsk’s page provide more context. Reviews on UPMC pages provide prospective patients with more information.UPMC recognizes that prospective patients are reading patient reviews to make informed choices. They know that online testimonials are here to stay, and that feedback not only helps them improve, but also helps inform and attract new patients.

Healthcare Providers must follow HIPPA laws when dealing with reviews

Healthcare providers must be aware of the HIPPA law behind interacting with patient feedback on public platforms. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) forbids providers from disclosing protected health information. The language of the act is subject to loose interpretation. This can be frustrating for professionals who aren’t able to offer their expertise online. Healthcare providers and their staff members don’t need to become experts to mitigate these issues.
Broadly helps healthcare professionals generate online reviews. Broadly’s reviews solution is HIPAA compliant, and designed to protect patient privacy at every turnBroadly collaborates with professionals so that they can in turn offer the best experience to their patients.
Want to build an online presence for your practice, clinic, or healthcare system and generate more patient reviews?

Watch your online reputation transform with Broadly