Does Yelp Love Your Practice?

Just as customers scope out a potential plumber or mechanic using Yelp, patients now vet potential doctors online. Yelp has 1.3 million doctor reviews.

In addition to Yelp reviews, there are healthcare rating sites like Vitals.com, healthgrades, RateMDs, and ZocDoc, which offer patients specific criteria to rate one’s experience.

Nobody Likes a Bad Review

Most providers are not comfortable with being rated online because they see it as unfair and not an accurate assessment of their ability to practice medicine.

No matter how much you may dislike being rated, it is unavoidable. Some doctors are trying to embrace rating. In fact, hospitals are even taking the initiative by offering patients the option to rate doctors and make them publicly available.

What can you and your practice do to embrace this trend? Take a proactive approach and you can turn online rating into a means of generating a better online presence.

Here are 3 tips to help to get you started:

Tip 1: Be proactive about your reviews

The majority of the provider reviews on Yelp are extraordinarily positive. Few to none actually have anything to do with your ability to diagnose. The majority of complaints revolve around timeliness, front office staff, parking issues etc. Although these may seem have less impact on your ability to function as a doctor, patients care about these matters.

The majority of the provider reviews on Yelp are extraordinarily positive.

Large practices and hospital systems hire consultants and survey companies to help them identify problem areas. Without breaking the budget, you can identify problems such as scheduling issues or a disgruntled employee and seek out solutions before the complaints hit Yelp.

Tip 2: Claim your profile

If there is one thing that irritates a potential customer or client, it is feedback or concerns that fall on deaf ears.

Yelp and RateMD allow you to claim your profile. You can ensure your contact information remains accurate. You can also send private messages and public messages to both positive and negative feedback.

If there is one thing that irritates a potential customer or client, it is feedback or concerns that fall on deaf ears. These sites are also excellent avenues for new patients (some sites even allow patients to make appointment requests).

Tip 3: Talk to your patients

Encourage your patients to be open with you and share both positive and a negative feedback directly. This way you can deal with any issues before they affect your online rating and potentially deter new patients researching you online.

 

We at Luma Health understand that every step of the patient experience is important. That’s why we developed waitlist and reminder tools that take the pain out of scheduling for both your front office staff and your patients.

Tashfeen Ekram, MD, is a radiologist, self-taught coder, healthcare innovator and Co-Founder of Luma Health. Contact him on Twitter at @tashfeenekramMD.

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