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4 Ways Ratings and Reviews are Disrupting Healthcare_2

4 Reasons Ratings and Reviews will Disrupt Healthcare

If it wasn’t already apparent to healthcare providers, in short order, the industry is about to be disrupted by ratings and reviews. Some organizations that have already noticed this trend are making it easy for patients to find reviews good, bad and indifferent on their website because they recognize their place in the buying process.

Those who hide from this rising trend are only hurting themselves. Like it or not, patients are basing their healthcare decisions on the provider’s reputation – and a big part of that is rooted in ratings and reviews.

There are a few major reasons why ratings and reviews have picked up steam over the past few years. Here’s a look at why they have suddenly disrupted the healthcare industry.

Patient ratings and reviews are part of the buying cycle

Transparency, beyond hospital price transparency, has never been more important in the healthcare industry than it is today. With the advent of rating sites, consumers are researching providers to ensure whoever they pick provides the best care.

Facilities that make their ratings easy to find will ultimately gain more trust from prospective patients and have a higher likelihood of seeing higher conversion rates. Patients no longer need to contact you in order to learn about the type of ailments you treat. They now expect to find that information online, in addition to evaluations from previous patients and will only contact you during the last mile of their journey.

Bedside manner is an increasing priority

Hospitals are shocked when they hear the patient recall every staff member they interacted with, including physicians, nurses, receptionists and even housekeeping staff. The reason is that bedside manner is playing an increasing amount of importance in the patient experience.

It’s no longer enough for medical treatments and procedures to be transactional. Patients want to converse and ultimately be made more comfortable throughout their time at the facility. In fact, there is a growing number of patients who won’t go back to a certain healthcare provider because of their disappointment with one physician’s bedside manner. As a result, healthcare providers are putting more of a priority in finding physicians who are both charismatic and empathetic.

Google heavily influences the patient journey

Patients now do most of their searching for healthcare without ever visiting your website. Much of this has to do with Google’s emphasis on “zero-click” searches. These searches are ones that provide information to users directly on the results page so the user never has to click-through to the website. In fact, according to Search Engine Land, 65 percent of all searches ended without a click.

For the patient, this means two things. The first is that they can now research their symptoms and get information directly in Google’s search results. But it also means that they can read ratings and reviews on the search engine without clicking through to a site like ZocDoc.

As a healthcare provider, the implication of zero-click searches can be scary. You may be turning away customers without even knowing about it. While ratings typically intimidate healthcare professionals, they can go a long way in helping your practice and hospital stand out from the competition. Facilities with a higher volume of ratings and reviews are more likely to rank higher on local searches than those with no ratings at all. Therefore, it behooves the industry to let go and embrace patient feedback.

Healthcare shopping is inherently social

If Google is the start of the journey, social media, including “dark social” channels such as Slack, Discord and Facebook groups are the middle. As remote work becomes the norm, patients are now regularly seeking recommendations from fellow co-workers and peers throughout the day.

The problem that social media – especially dark social presents for the healthcare industry – is that there’s no way to control what’s being said. All it takes is one bad experience for that patient to start blasting your organization to everyone and anyone that will listen.

However, providers that are proactive in embracing feedback can ensure that those negative experiences turn into a positive one simply by showing empathy or working to make the situation better. When healthcare professionals embrace the shopping habits of patients rather than shy away from them, they will find that consumers will increase brand loyalty, which will improve their current revenue cycle.

If you aren’t currently incorporating a ratings and reviews strategy into your healthcare marketing strategy, now is the time. Patients are already utilizing both in full force in their decision-making, and will only continue to grow in the months to come. Providers that don’t embrace feedback in the future will only do themselves a disservice.

Hear from the experts at G2 and Reputation to learn more about the importance of Ratings and Reviews.

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