With consumerism on the rise, the healthcare industry has undergone a fundamental shift. What once was provider-focused, has now progressed to being patient-focused. Because of this shift, understanding the immense impact of online reviews is more imperative than ever.
Patients evaluating online reviews is now an integral step in the process of selecting a healthcare provider. In fact, 84 percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians. Once dominated by word-of-mouth references, choosing a provider is now online and research-driven.
Today, 80 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Consumers are doing their homework online before selecting a physician or healthcare facility. Star ratings and comments, as well as review responses from doctors and hospitals, are the most popular way for consumers to estimate the experience they will receive from a healthcare provider. If patients don't like what they see they'll take their business elsewhere.
With more and more patients using online reviews to compare physicians, healthcare brands, and facilities before scheduling an appointment, internet reviews sites –such as Yelp and HealthGrades – have a growing influence on medical providers' reputations and ability to attract new patients. With 77 percent of patients using online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor, this places every healthcare provider's web presence and online reputation front-and-center as a critical element of patient acquisition.
Patients want the best possible experience when seeking care. Hospitals that offer a superior customer experience can expect to achieve up to 50 percent higher margins. The correlation between satisfied patients and higher profit margins has been growing over time, and the trend is expected to continue.
Online reviews in healthcare are here to stay. Because the experience your patients have today may become the deciding factor for a new patient tomorrow, it is critical to take the steps now to make your patients happy.
Learn more about how Stericycle Communications Solutions provides the tools you need to ensure your patients receive the care and experience they expect.