Why asking for patient feedback is important

Your average score on clinician reviews websites is what the vast majority of prospective patients are making their judgments on. And with a proper negative review management process in place, you can even get rid of a lot of the bad reviews.

Asking for feedback is simple, but not easy. All of us crave to know how we measure up in this crowded world. Asking for patient reviews requires humility as well as an understanding of their importance. Knowing how to get patient reviews is critical for improving a clinician’s rating and care.

Asking for patient reviews is critical

It’s not that clinicians do not know how to get patient reviews. Most are not asking for patient reviews because they do not know how important they have become. A single star can improve your revenue by 5% to 9%. A dearth of positive reviews can cripple your new patient appointment requests. And about three-quarters of patients use online reviews as the first step in finding a clinician.

Get more positive patient feedback in person

You are much more likely to get a review if you ask in person. 74% of consumers will leave a review from a local business if asked.

Recall the Milgram experiment—participants were instructed by authority figures to deliver painful shocks to actors posing as learners who failed to answer questions correctly.

One of the less cited variations of this experiment, however, crucially illustrates how important it is to ask for feedback in person, versus over the phone or email. Stanley Milgram found that when the authority figure was not physically present and made requests over the telephone, compliance dropped 20.5%.

Reduce bad patient reviews and ratings

As an added benefit, asking for patient reviews in person will reduce your negative reviews and can help to protect your organization against malpractice. Patients who would have said they were fully satisfied with your care are 10% less likely to say that after billing. But when someone goes “on the record” to support something, they are much more likely to defend that positive later even if things change.

Asking for patients reviews in person will, over time, improve your ratings. This will directly influence how many new appointment requests you receive. But it will also decrease malpractice risk, generate new ideas, and improve care quality for future patients.

Patient reviews: the numbers

Building up patient reviews is a numbers game. The majority of online reviews are positive. A report from Small Business Trends showed that 66.8% of all Yelp reviews are between 4 and 5 stars. Yet, 56% of clinicians do not have any patient reviews on Healthgrades, from an analysis that meddkit conducted.

This presents a lot of opportunity for clinicians who are looking to grow or improve cash flow. Often, the best way to improve your public rating on sites like Facebook, Yelp and Healthgrades is to ask for more feedback.

Don’t worry about a few bad patient reviews

If you ask 10 patients for reviews each day and just half of them agree, you will end up with over 1,000 reviews with a rating of between 4 and 5 stars. With such a strong review presence, a handful of erratic negative reviews will not impact your overall score at all.

In fact, with just 100 reviews behind you and an average score of four and a half stars, it would take 17 one-star reviews in a row to drop you beneath four stars. With 1,000 reviews and the same score, it would take 169 consecutive one-star reviews to drop you beneath four stars.

Remember, as long as you are providing satisfactory service, most patient reviews obtained during the date of service will be positive.

Your average patient rating is what matters

Your average score on clinician reviews websites is what the vast majority of prospective patients are making their judgments on. And with a proper negative review management process in place, you can even get rid of a lot of the bad reviews.

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About the Author
Jon Tornetta, PMP founded meddkit.com to help private healthcare businesses get more consistent appointment, improve their web presence, and reduce technology stress. Jon is a certified Project Management Professional and has spent a decade helping healthcare providers with technology. Jon lives near Philadelphia, PA and is an avid reader, outdoorsman, and tech geek.