Reputation management is becoming increasingly important for healthcare providers – in fact, 70% of healthcare consumers say online ratings and review sites have influenced their decision when selecting a physician.
People at every level of the organization, from the front desk to the medical staff to executives in the C-suite, are learning that a commitment to excellence in patient experience, as reflected in positive reviews, is the key.
At Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in Spartanburg, South Carolina, instruction in reputation management policies and practice is so important that onboarding physicians is part of day one training. Recently, we discussed this with Mary Reid, RN, senior physician development consultant with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.
What are the basics of the Reputation Management training process for new physicians?
It starts on the physician’s first day working here, alongside other typical first day presentations: welcome, payroll, email, operating policies and so on. Our marketing VP reviews the patient experience and presents on the service recovery process. The physicians receive and review the hospital’s complaints and grievances policies and procedures. We introduce Binary Fountain and how it works for Spartanburg; for example, how we ask every patient to complete a post-appointment survey.
Does the presentation go into detail about how negative reviews are handled?
Yes, we describe how practice managers review surveys, and pass on negative reviews to the marketing department, and that the physician will have a chance to work with any complaining patient. We hammer home to the physicians how important it is that our patients have good experiences.
This isn’t meant to scare them; we explain that survey information empowers the physician to turn negative experiences into more positive ones. Unresolved negative reviews are handled promptly as grievances. The physician would quickly learn about any related to them from management, and receive guidance on how to work with the patient to turn the experience around.
Do they learn what to do if they encounter a negative review on a third-party site like Healthgrades or ZocDoc, or on social media?
We instruct all physicians and other practice staffers to alert the marketing department if they see a negative review on social media, rather than have the doctor respond directly on social media.
What is the typical physician response to the reputation management training?
Most everyone responds positively – they arrive here understanding how important this is. Many of our physicians come directly from residency, and this is not their first time hearing about reputation management.
Does their age make them more comfortable with the technology and the online experience?
Yes, our younger physicians are definitely comfortable with it! They probably have written reviews of their own as customers.
Is there follow up with the physician?
Yes, we visit each of our practices monthly, and we take time to talk with physicians about reputation management. That’s a time to celebrate good reviews and improved results together.
Want to learn more about how providers and physicians can improve the overall patient care experience? Download our latest whitepaper “Improving the Patient Experience: A 360-Degree Review of All Patient Touchpoints” here.
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