Physicians, for the most part, don’t want to be reviewed as if they are a restaurant or a nail salon service. Your field is much more complex, and can’t really be rated with a few stars and a blurb with a character limit.
However, patient reviews on sites like ZocDoc® can be used to your advantage if you understand what it takes to make a run of the mill patient experience into an outstanding one.
Understanding How ZocDoc® Works
ZocDoc® is a closed-loop review system, meaning that only patients who have actually completed office visits can leave reviews. Patient reviews on physicians are then moderated by ZocDoc®, which takes out the guesswork of determining if they are legitimate. It asks for reviews immediately after each appointment, meaning that more patients are prompted to post reviews.
This paints a more complete picture of patient satisfaction, rather than judging the quality an office visit by outlier opinions. ZocDoc® also does not publish information about the accuracy of the physician’s diagnosis or treatment.
What Patients Look for in a Visit
Since ZocDoc® reviews do not include the factual results of a physician’s care, (i.e. whether the patient was successfully treated) they are mostly based upon the quality of “customer service” at the doctor’s office. This includes appointment wait time, convenience of the scheduling process, and how attentive the medical professionals were.
According to a recent study, there is a disparity between what patients consider a good visit and how doctors judge their own services. Doctors tend to be clinical and results-based when it comes to reviewing themselves. They prefer to be rated based on their skills rather than their bedside manner.
Patients, on the other hand, want to know that they will be treated well throughout the whole visit. For your practice, this means creating a comprehensively pleasant experience, starting from the minute they are greeted by the receptionist.
How to Use Ratings to Your Advantage
Considering that ZocDoc® automatically prompts your patients to review their appointment experience, it should be easy for you to collect reviews. Instead of just sending positive patient reviews back to the physicians and nurses within your practice, post them as frequently as possible on social media.
People are more likely to choose your office for their annual check-up if they see testimonials from other satisfied patients on your Facebook or Twitter page.
Why Millennials Are Important
Although millennials are not the only group you should appeal to, they are the most tech-savvy demographic. In the digital age, phoneless patient engagement is important. Studies find that millennials avoid going to their physician as often as they should. This is partly because scheduling an appointment requires using what they consider outdated technology.
Millennials don’t want to hear the voicemail the receptionist leaves on their smartphone, or even pick up the phone to call the doctor’s office. That being said, they also rely heavily on information that is accessible on their mobile device.
ZocDoc® is part of the movement towards “going mobile.” Since millennials depend so much on mobile apps, ZocDoc® takes advantage of this tendency. This means that most of the people using ZocDoc® are probably part of the mobile user demographic. This also means that when you do post positive patient reviews on Facebook and Twitter, they are probably the first ones to take notice.
How Can You Optimize Patients’ Office Visits?
Since out-of-pocket costs for healthcare have risen, most millennials now rely heavily on comparing online patient reviews. To appeal to those looking for new doctors, you must know what will set your practice apart from others.
According to recent findings, a wait time longer than 20 minutes is considered a waste of time. Then there is the matter of perceived wait time versus actual wait time. How can you make those 20 minutes pass by quickly?
For added patient comfort, you could make sure that there are locations where they can charge their devices while waiting. A good Wi-Fi connection and pleasant front desk staff are also good things to have. Find out what your patients want from their next doctor’s visit. Send out a survey with targeted questions that can improve their appointment experience.
On a related note, keeping in touch with your patients is always an excellent idea. If your practice has a HIPAA compliant messaging system, try to send an email with set questions about patients’ conditions, to which they can respond with feedback or even pictures.
How to Deal With Negative Patient Reviews
Don’t just leave bad reviews hanging. Instead, respond to them. Try to phrase your reply in the most actionable way possible. Say something like, “It’s come to our attention that (X) has been a problem for many of our patients. We have already taken steps to remedy this. We always appreciate your feedback as it helps us provide the care you need.”
By responding to bad patient reviews constructively, potential patients viewing your practice on ZocDoc® will see your responsiveness to people’s needs. Bad reviews don’t always have to have a negative impact. Providing dissatisfied patients with a friendly, professional, and courteous response puts your practice in a positive light.
Learn More About Healthcare Review Sites With MedINFOtech
We hope that we have provided useful insight on garnering positive patient feedback on ZocDoc® and similar medical review sites. If you want more information on how your practice can thrive while meeting the demands of the digital age, read our book Medical Practice Marketing: New Patient Acquisition Methodologies.