Patient Loyalty, Acquisition Hinge on Online Provider Reviews
Topic: Patient Loyalty, Acquisition Hinge on Online Provider Reviews
The average patient looks at 5.5 online provider reviews before selecting a new doc, emphasizing the impact reviews have on patient acquisition and loyalty.
Online provider reviews and the digital patient experience aren’t things to write off; rather, those online reviews could be make-or-break for healthcare organizations looking to improve patient acquisition and loyalty, according to the latest report from Press Ganey.
The 2021 Consumer Experience Trends in Healthcare, which included survey responses from some 1,140 adult patients, asserted that healthcare consumerism is here to stay and that manifests itself most prominently with online provider reviews.
“On a societal level, the pandemic forced us to rethink the digitalization of healthcare,” Daniel Litwer, chief client officer, Press Ganey, said in a public statement. “This new era reinforces the power that online perception is reality, and failure to invest in digital channels will push patients to seek care elsewhere.”
Patients looking for a new clinician are twice as likely to rely on online sources as they are a provider referral and are increasingly valuing the online provider reviews at their disposal. The average patient will consult more than two online sources and more than five online provider reviews when selecting a new clinician, and those online reviews are the top factor swaying patients’ care access decisions.
This finding spans nearly every generation. Unsurprisingly, Millennials and Gen X have seen a big uptick in how much they look at online provider reviews, but Baby Boomers have seen similar growth. In the past year, 38 percent more Baby Boomers are looking at online provider reviews when searching for a new clinician.
Having those good reviews could be make-or-break for some organizations, with 84 percent of respondents saying they would not visit a clinician who had fewer than four stars. Fifty-nine percent said they ended up picking a clinician because of good online reviews, while having access to reliable and relevant information was also important to patients. Forty-eight percent of patients said being able to book an appointment online helped them make a care access decision.
Patients particularly trust online provider reviews when reviews seemingly come from reputable sources, when there is a high volume of good reviews, and when reviews are recent. Overall, about three-quarters of patients said they think online provider reviews accurately reflect their own healthcare experiences.
Getting that elusive five-star review will require more than just good clinical care, although Press Ganey emphasized clinical quality and patient-centered care are still top-of-mind for the 50 percent of patients leaving online reviews. Rather, organizations will also need to deliver on customer service.
About 72 percent of respondents said good customer service influenced their five-star reviews, as did cleanliness of facilities (67.5 percent) and communication (63 percent). Another 63 percent said their clinicians’ bedside manner influenced their star-rating, showing that the customer service of front office staff is more important than provider bedside manner.
Topic Discussed: Patient Loyalty, Acquisition Hinge on Online Provider Reviews
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