I recently needed to find a specialist for an issue with my foot. I'm a runner and I believed I was suffering from a bad case of plantar fasciitis. Of course, I did most of my research online trying to self-diagnose but 2 months into the pain I realized it was time to find someone who had a degree on their wall.
Again, I went online to the various running blogs and determined that an orthopedist may be the best bet. And since I had also self-diagnosed that I may have had a stress fracture, the orthopedist may be the best choice.
Since I don't go to specialists on a regular basis, I again wanted to find a reputable doctor who had some experience with runners and their injuries.
After going through my health insurance plan, it was back to the web to determine which doctor would be best. Interestingly enough, it was Yelp that came up on top with the most reviews of doctors. Yelp, the same site I would go to for restaurant reviews, is now becoming an informative resource on doctor care. Yelp provides a terrific social outlet for people who want to express gratitude or gripe about services/products they have encountered. It is loosely monitored for abuse but for the most part it is self regulated and should be taken with a grain of salt when determining validity of comments, both good and bad.
I read through the 15 reviews and various star ratings on the doctor I finally chose to see. Most were good but some criticized his bedside manners. I wondered if this doctor even knew what was being said about him or how he could even respond to it in a professional manner. I wondered if doctors even had the time to manage the risk around their reputation in these situations.
We started CareSurveys as a tool to help doctors really know what their patients think and to really show their patients that they care what they think.
According to a recent Forbes Magazine article, “About four in five doctor practices considered “better performers” conduct patient satisfaction surveys, which are expected to take on more importance as private insurance companies and government health plans move away from fee-for-service payment under the Affordable Care Act."
In a new survey from the University of Michigan, published in JAMA, nearly one in five patients thinks it’s very important to search for – and to be able to find – online information about a potential healthcare provider, including ratings by other patients and basic facts about insurance plan acceptance and office details. Among those who did search the web for information, 37% avoided contacting a physician who had negative reviews.
Understanding the value of online reputation management is critical to the financial success of any business and should be a critical element of any service provider business plan.