He also has used bad online reviews to improve his processes. He had a bad review with the way a referral process was done and implemented changes to ensure it wouldn't happen again.
Taking a proactive approach is one that many believe in, even if it's something a little simpler, as in 'Pasternak's case, or something more aggressive.
"Providers should take ownership and take control of this and do it right," says Press Ganey's Lee. "By doing it right I mean, they should be trying to survey as many patients as possible."
Nash's organization has gone down that path. The medical group electronically surveys patients on their experience and posts each physician's ratings on their page. Nash says NorthShore-LIJ's process, unlike Yelp, HealthGrades, or Vitals, ensures that the patient was actually seen by that physician. The group is using these surveys to motivate physicians (see related sidebar).
Oliva at Nuance says there is something to the motivational benefits of being reviewed in this manner. "Physicians are motivated by reputation even stronger than most professions. Making this information transparent to them will get them to move, more than throwing dollars at them," he says.
THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
For organizations like NorthShore-LIJ Medical Group, which is owned by a large health system, embracing transparency is a matter of delineating the right resources. For smaller physician practices, those kinds of resources are not available. They have no choice but to live with Yelp, HealthGrades, Vitals or some other website as their source of being reviewed.
For those practices, they can conquer their pages with, as Braun implied, good old-fashioned care. Baker says he believes that 90 percent of the issues on those sites come down to better interpersonal skills. "If you actually make eye contact, smile, walk people to their room … it's [basic] patient/human-being interaction. If you do those things, you can manage [most] of this," Baker says.
* Physicians Practice readers, we have more articles and guides on physician review sites at PhysiciansPractice.com. Read a “How-To” guide on dealing with a bad review here. Also, Tod Baker, CEO of MDValuate, shares more tips for physicians.
Gabriel Perna is managing editor for Physicians Practice. He can be reached at [email protected].
This article was originally published in the January 2016 issue of Physicians Practice.