Key Insights about Online Reputation for Healthcare Leaders

March 30, 2017

Healthcare organizations across the country are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of their online reviews and star ratings as a means of attracting new patients and maintaining a strong online presence and reputation.  

During a recent webinar, “4 Pillars of Online Reputation Management for Healthcare,” Pascal Bensoussan, Chief Product Officer at Reputation.com, provided a wealth of strategies and tips.

He discussed how health systems and doctors must actively manage their online reputation, now that the majority of consumers use the internet to find and select healthcare providers.

“Responding to reviews creates a heightened sense of service and leads to higher star ratings,” said Bensoussan. “It puts the focus on servicing patients and improving the overall experience and demonstrates publicly that you care about patients and are motivated to address their concerns.”

Kirsten Saint Clair, director of business operations at MultiCare Health Systems, joined Bensoussan and explained how her organization is using Reputation.com to monitor and respond to online reviews, increase review volume and gain operational insights from patient feedback.

If you missed the webinar, or you’d like a recap, check out these top five takeaways from the presentation:

1.   Your reputation is prominently displayed online.

The vast majority of healthcare consumers will start their search for a doctor on a search engine. Close to 80 percent of patients now trust online reviews as much as word of mouth, making reviews the single most effective marketing material you can deploy.

2.   Online reputation needs to be managed for every doctor, at every healthcare location.

The perception of your health system or facility starts with the local perception of every location through which you deliver care. A bad rating at one location could have implications for a health system’s reputation as a whole — make sure you take a holistic approach with a platform that scales.

3.   Your reputation stands between your marketing spend and revenue.

Given the importance of online reviews in today’s digital environment, no amount of money spent on advertising or marketing programs will outweigh the effects of a bad online reputation. If your reviews are mostly negative, or if you don’t have enough reviews, it seriously limits the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. Don’t waste your marketing budget without addressing the online reputation of your providers.

4.   Focus on the four pillars – reviews, surveys, business listings and operational insights – to improve your online presence.

These four ORM disciplines are the foundation for optimizing your online reputation:

  • Reviews: Have staff ask for feedback following every visit and respond promptly to negative reviews in a HIPAA-compliant manner.

  • Surveys: Use brief surveys -- to collect information CAHPS surveys don’t -- about the patient experience. Identify what you’re doing right and gain actionable insight into problem areas.

  • Business listings: With four out of five consumers using search engines such as Google to find a doctor, accurate business listings are essential. Implementing a process for auditing and correcting your listings helps ensure patients find your doctors rather than your competitors’.

  • Operational insights: Armed with information about your online reputation, you can support operational improvements across the organization and hone staff training procedures.

5.   Successful ORM is dependent upon strong organizational buy-in.

Saint Clair explained how MultiCare needed to secure strong buy-in across the organization for online reputation management initiatives. After she implemented an ORM program, the health system saw better service delivery and improved responsiveness.

Check out the recording of the full webinar to learn more about how Online Reputation Management in healthcare.

 
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