In the past, gathering online reviews has been less of a priority for health care providers and clinics; however, today’s cyber-connected world has changed the game. Health care providers can no longer afford to miss what patients are saying about their practice online. Online review platforms for physicians such as WebMD and Healthgrades generate a tremendous amount of traffic and influence. Still skeptical? Read on.
Million of visitors a month want help finding a doctor online. 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors, and about 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
With these facts, it is evident that online review sites are here to stay. Patients are continually using them to find and make decisions about health care providers and book appointments.
There are several online doctor rating sites for health care providers; however, WebMD and Healthgrades are two popular sites where practitioners should claim a profile on.
Here’s An Overview Of Doctor Sites:
WebMD is an online website that provides valuable health information and health management tools to subscribers. They provide credible information, supportive communities, and in-depth reference materials about health subjects that are relevant to you. They are a source for original and current health information and materials from popular content providers.
WebMD also hosts a physician directory to assist visitors in finding providers by name, specialty, location, condition, and procedure. It is one of the best physician review sites with over 2.4 million visitors a month.
Practitioners on WebMD are displayed in alphabetical order and on a map according to their location in your selected area. The list view shows the physician’s years of experience and rating from WebMD.
Practitioners looking to get started on WebMD need to claim their profile first. Once your profile is created, you can customize it and start collecting reviews to help patients find you on WebMD.
WebMD ratings are much more advanced than what is obtainable on some other review sites.
Practitioners on WebMD are rated between 1 to 5 stars on criteria such as:
Office courteous staff
Office scheduling flexibility
Office average wait time (under 15 minutes to over an hour rating)
Physician takes time to answer my questions
Physician explains the conditions and treatment
Physician provides follow-up as needed
Healthgrades is another doctor rating website that provides information about doctors, hospitals, and health care providers in a user-friendly manner. They also post content about specific medical conditions and issues at “The Right Care” section of the site.
The website gets more than 30 million visitors a month; hence it is crucial for every health practitioner to have an accurate and updated profile on Healthgrades.
The directory has a searchable database of doctor profiles, dentists, and hospitals. When looking for practitioners on Healthgrades, patients are able to narrow in on the result based on insurance, review/rating, gender, age, distance, as well as availability.
To get started on Healthgrades, a provider needs to update his profile, or someone who works on behalf of the provider can do so too. Your rating on Healthgrades is based on a 1 to 5-star scale, and there is an option for users to write a free text review on the likelihood of recommending the physician to friends and family.
A practitioner is rated from 1 to 5 stars on other criteria such as:
Ease of scheduling urgent appointments
Total wait time (waiting & examination room)
Office environment, comfort, cleanliness, etc.
Staff friendliness and courteousness
How well the provider listens and answers questions
How well the provider explains medical conditions
If the provider spends an appropriate amount of time with patients
Level of trust in the provider’s decisions
How to Get a Better Rating on WebMD and Healthgrades
The reviews you get on online review sites can significantly affect a patient’s decision to make an appointment or not. This means you need to put effort into managing your online reputation on doctor rating sites for the good of your practice.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent a poor review if you or a doctor on your team had a bad day. Regardless of how much there’s no good reason for a bad review, such a review is already there to stay once it is made.
Practitioners who have received an unsatisfactory patient review can improve their overall score by encouraging more of their patients to complete Patients Satisfaction Surveys. A few unsatisfactory scores will have less impact on your overall survey score if you get many satisfactory patients survey.
Doctor rating websites are here to stay, to help patients who use them as their first step in finding a new physician in their decision-making process. Improving your rating on a doctor rating site is vital for practitioners in this age where consumers start their journey online. This will make it possible for patients to search and find you to make appointments. The reputation of a physician on Healthgrades and WebMD is vital to growing your practice and improving patient satisfaction.