Our recent MGMA-sponsored webinar on Online Reputation Management covered trends in online consumer behavior and how they are affecting physician practices. KureSmart Pain Management shared how it manages online reviews and patient experience survey data to increase revenue and patient loyalty. Here are four takeaways from the webinar:
ONE: Reviews matter, more now than ever
Aaron Clifford, Binary Fountain’s SVP of Marketing, discussed patient experience-driven healthcare, offering some stats on reviews.
A recent Binary Fountain study shows that 75 percent of Americans say online ratings and review sites have influenced their decision when selecting a physician. In BrightLocal’s 2017 annual survey, 85% of people said they trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation, and that percentage is trending higher from year to year. And, a survey by Software Advice found that 47% of people would consider choosing an out-of-network provider with more favorable reviews, over an in-network doctor.
Reviews impact revenue. An HCA study of 50 practices showed a 17% increase in average monthly patient volume when a practice had 90-100% positive reviews. Practices with below 80% positive reviews recorded only a 2% increase in average monthly volume.
TWO: Responding to reviews is no longer optional
Many negative reviews are really asking “What are you going to do about this?” People reading reviews, whether positive or negative, want the confidence of knowing someone is listening, and is committed to improving patient experience. Aaron’s advice on reviews:
- Treat online reviews like they were given face to face
- Responding shows patients and prospects that you care about their experience
- Not responding is like not answering a customer service call
- Practices are noticing an increase in online reviews when they respond
Nick LaRosa, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, KureSmart Pain Management, said that how you respond to a negative online review could overshadow the original complaint. In every online interaction, the patient, and the visitor who reads the review, should hear this message: “We take everything you say seriously, and we are driven to improve.” Whether positive or negative, the response should translate to “Thank you, your comments are making us better.”
THREE: Buy-in is crucial
Britni Cullen, Vice President of Business Operations, KureSmart Pain Management, outlined how resistance turned to buy-in at KureSmart. At first, staffers felt they did not have time to encourage surveys and respond to reviews. Initial goals were set to be achievable, and managers helped staffers find enthusiasm for expanding their efforts. Today, it is standard practice to publicly celebrate positive reviews at quarterly staff lunch meetings.
She related ways that patient feedback can change corporate practice. KureSmart noticed complaints about billing that revealed dissatisfaction with patient deductibles. The company started to help patients understand, before the procedure, where their deductible stands and what would be their obligation. With complaints noticed and problem addressed, complaints reduced in number.
Britni also described a physician who had great outcomes but received low star ratings on patient communication and bedside manner. After the team reviewed direct patient feedback with him, this very competitive individual adjusted his behavior and became KureSmart’s highest rated doctor.
FOUR: A commitment to exceptional patient experience yields bottom-line results
Nick LaRosa said that turning toward being driven by patient engagement has reshaped the entire company. Here is how success looks at KureSmart:
- Patient experience increased 68%
- Patient loyalty increased 52%
- Physicians’ rating increased 59%
- Positive online reviews increased 52%
- 29% growth rate nearly doubled the number of new patients
There is much more useful information, insight and actionable advice in the webinar and the Q & A that followed. Sign in here to listen on demand.
About the Author
Sabrina helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.