Social Media and Online Patient Reviews: Deal with It

By AAPL Staff
May 16, 2019

 A survey indicates most American adults post online reviews of their medical experiences and suggests physician leaders respond “if they want to compete in today’s marketplace.”

Vigilantly monitor social media comments and online reviews about your health care organization, because negative reviews and ratings can harm your organization’s profile and profits.

A 2018 Binary Fountain survey indicates most American adults post online reviews of their medical experiences, and suggests leaders respond to patient feedback “if they want to compete in today’s marketplace.”

What can you do?

  • Monitor websites; watch for others that spring up.
  • Look for trends (good or bad) with each location and physician.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues. Reply to negative reviews by owning problems, apologizing, thanking reviewers for feedback and offering to resolve issues offline.
  • Thank patients for positive reviews.
  • Educate staff members about new processes addressing patient issues.

The payoff:

  • Improved patient experience.
  • Positive patient reviews (free advertising).
  • Increased patient retention.
  • Increased patient referrals.

Data points:

  • 51% of American adults in 2018 shared health care experiences online, up 30% from 2017.
  • 68% of young millennials (ages 18-24) shared health care experiences online, a 95% increase from 2017.
  • 95% of patients say online review and rating sites are a “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
  • 70% of patients say online sites have influenced physician selection.
  • 63% of patients use ratings and reviews from hospital or clinic websites or Google to choose a physician.

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