More Hospitals Tracking Online Reviews, Patient Satisfaction Scores
June 4, 2015 in News
Hospitals are looking to better control their online presence and improve patient satisfaction ratings, the Washington Post reports.
Individuals have increasingly been comparing online hospital reviews as they shop for medical care amid rising out-of-pocket costs, according to the Post.
However, online reviews are less likely to focus on treatments and more likely to focus on their experiences, such as:
- How quickly they received care; and
- Whether providers were kind to them.
According to the Post, most negative physician reviews relate to wait times and scheduling, as opposed to the care itself.
In contrast, providers are more likely to focus on the clinical aspects of care, like how effective treatments were.
To address the disconnect, some hospitals are increasing efforts to monitor and control their online reputations by hiring “reputation management” staff who use new tools to monitor real-time data and assess what patients are posting about physicians.
Reputation management staff then can:
- Engage patients by responding to questions and comments on social media to help resolve any potential issues that could lead to negative reviews;
- Identify specific trends in the reviews and share the information with providers so they can address the issues; and
- Use the monitoring technology to survey patients and to potentially push positive comments out to ratings websites.
Meanwhile, some hospitals have launched their own online physician rating systems. For example, Cleveland Clinic’s ratings site uses information from patient satisfaction surveys to display physician ratings on a five-star scale. The website, which is updated weekly, includes providers that have been reviewed by at least 30 patients and displays both negative and positive comments.
Another strategy hospitals are using is to boost providers’ connections with their patients. For example, one technology called HealthLoop allows physicians to follow up with patients daily through “virtual visits,” in which patients are sent individualized emails. The emails contain questions, advice and reminders specific to their conditions. The patients then can email questions and photos back to their providers (Sun, Washington Post, 6/3).