3 ways to get more meaningful physician reviews

By Aine Cryts

Online physician reviews are here to stay. But despite practices' acceptance of the trend and even willingness to publish reviews themselves, challenges remain. In particular, physician practices must ensure that the number and quality of reviews is actually meaningful to future patients and that physicians can embrace the feedback they receive, according to a post from Harvard Business Review.

Here are three strategies for making reviews a more effective tool for patients and physicians alike:

  • Aim to gather 30 to 50 evaluations for each physician. While it's true that a handful of reviews from more than six months ago don't say that much, 30 to 50 patient reviews can be very meaningful for consumers who are searching for their next physician, wrote Deirdre E. Mylod, Ph.D., and Thomas H. Lee, M.D., executives at Press Ganey Associates, in HBR.
  • Solicit feedback on the spot. If one of your staff asks a disgruntled patient right there in the office to write a review about their experience with one of your physicians, it can be an opportunity to address a negative experience in the moment. What's more, when doctors acknowledge patients' complaints and engage in direct discussions of how to do better, they can turn their "worst critic into their most loyal ally," FiercePracticeManagement reported previously.
  • Allow for numeric ratings and subjective patient comments. Ranking a doctor's ability to communicate on a 1-5 scale, for example, is needed for data robustness, standardization and statistical analysis, which is important to doctors, HBR noted. Reviews written in patients' voices, however, satisfy consumers' need to hear about first-hand experiences and offer physicians in-depth feedback from which they can learn.

To learn more:
- read the HBR article