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Tag Archives: Feel

Mednax, HCA feel the sting of managed-care patient management

The first-quarter earnings season for hospital companies hasn’t officially begun and already a second large provider has previewed a net earnings drop for the quarter.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

6 Ways to Make Your Patients Feel Special

6 Ways to Make Your Patients Feel Special

How your patients experience your practice is a foundational aspect of your healthcare marketing strategy. A snappy website may help get patients through your doors, but whether or not you retain them and they are willing to recommend your practice depends on what happens once they step through those doors. Use these six strategies to improve your patients’ experience with your practice… so they refer their friends and keep coming back!

Remember Individual Details. Patients know you see a lot of people, so if you can remember a couple of details specific to individual patients and ask about them, your patients will be impressed by your thoughtfulness. They’ll feel like they are not just a name on a file to you, but rather a valued part of your practice. Building that sense of connection is important for building a trusting relationship with your patient, who will in turn be much more likely to recommend you to others.

Surveys. Conduct regular surveys of your patients’ satisfaction with your practice. You can send them out online, have patients fill out a form in person or build it into an app. This will show that you care about their experience and feedback and will help you pinpoint areas for improvement.

App. Consider building an app for your practice. If you are a hospital, include a map that directs patients and visitors to the appropriate place to park and help navigate them through your halls. You can also build in interactive, health-related surveys and articles they can engage with in the waiting room. An app offers a great platform to help patients get in touch with your practice, refill prescriptions and be reminded of their appointments.

Show Your Appreciation. Host a patient appreciation event. This can be small and fairly inexpensive, like a social at a park, or more elaborate as your budget allows. If you have a core group of long-time patients, show them you appreciate their loyalty by renting out a restaurant to say thanks.

Be Attentive. When patients arrive, make sure your front desk staff is trained to welcome them and attend to what they need right away. If this isn’t always possible, make sure you and your staff thank them for their patience. Acknowledge their experience before they have to bring it to your attention. This will help patients recognize you are considering them and doing the best you can.

Make It Inviting. Patients can be nervous, especially when they are new and don’t know what to expect. Their first impression will come from the waiting area, so make sure you keep it clean and inviting. Consider incorporating small decorative elements that will help the space feel more warm and personal, like table lamps instead of overhead fluorescents.

When your patients feel valued and special, they’re much more likely to come back, give you positive reviews and recommend your practice to others.

If you’d like to improve your patients’ experience as part of your healthcare marketing plan, we’d love to help. Contact info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Are Online Reviews Making You Feel Unfairly Judged?

If you are one of the many doctors, dentists or other healthcare professionals lamenting the proliferation of online patient reviews and review sites, then this newsletter should give you some comfort. You are not alone. And there’s professional help waiting for you in the form of healthcare practice reputation management partners and programs.

If you think patients are poorly equipped to review the quality of your care or expertise, you are in very good company. Many doctors and dentists feel the same way. Yet, patient reviews continue growing in popularity as consumers challenge the idea that their doctors or dentists are the best sources of reliable treatment information.

Sadly, many consumers use the review site Yelp to rate health providers the same way they rate plumbers. Instead of calling out a doctor over inadequate care or a misdiagnosis, patients are far more likely to complain about long wait times, difficulty getting appointments, insurance and billing errors, the practitioner’s standoffish bedside manner or the office staff’s rudeness.

In the worst cases, doctors, dentists and other health providers have threatened or filed lawsuits against patients who post negative reviews on Yelp. Some have even tried to sue Yelp itself. Be warned, however. The track record for such lawsuits is very poor, with courts typically ruling in favor of Yelp and the healthcare consumers.

Making the Grade

Though Yelp’s health reviews began in 2004, more than half have been posted in just the past two years. These reviews attract millions of views monthly on Yelp’s site alone. So far, health providers have earned an average of 4 stars. Medical doctors have earned fewer 5-star reviews than other health professionals, and the average doctor reviewed gets 3.6 stars. Chiropractors did far better on average, with ratings of 4.5 to 4.6 stars out of 5.

While some providers (think physical therapists and dentists) actively seek out patient reviews, doctors have been trying to suppress reviews for years. They believe a visit to the doctor is typically more complex than a visit to a dentist, physical therapist or chiropractor. The typical visit to a dentist or physical therapist is for a specific service. The patient’s expectations are usually clear, and results are more easily measured than the results of a typical doctor visit.

Doctors also scored lower on Healthgrades, which focuses solely on health providers, though the difference was smaller than on Yelp. Unlike Yelp, Healthgrades has not allowed general consumers to post comments. Patients who post on Healthgrades might soon see different questions based on the type of doctor they visited. Healthgrades believes this will provide more useful user feedback.

In addition, the American Medical Association encourages patients to communicate their concerns directly to their doctors instead of posting online reviews anonymously. The AMA believes, rightly so, that finding the right physician is more complicated than finding a good hotel room, and smart patients should use the best available resources to make such important choices. The association has called on people who profile physicians to give them the right to review and certify the accuracy of their information before distributing a practice profile or placing it on the Internet.

The AMA understands that your online reputation is critical to the success of your practice, that you need to incorporate online reputation management into your practice and that monitoring and managing your online reputation is not something most physicians can do on their own.

Turning Minuses into Pluses

Services such as Practice Builders’ myPracticeReputation (mypracticereputation.com) not only help you combat negative reviews legally, ethically and in HIPAA-compliant fashion, but also help you generate more positive reviews from satisfied patients and monitor your online reputation.

Start managing and protecting your online reputation by talking to a Practice Builders’ healthcare marketing consultant today. Call 800.679.1200 for more information and a complimentary reputation assessment.

If you wish to comment on this electronic newsletter’s content or subject matter, please email the editor at: hedgar@practicebuilders.com.

Medical, Dental Practice Marketing

Doctors Feel Pressure to Accept Risk-based Reimbursement

As insurers step up efforts to cover more lives with value- and performance-based contracts, physicians are under the gun to adapt to an altered reimbursement reality.
HealthLeadersMedia.com – Physician Leadership News

Physicians Feel Reform’s Tight Scrutiny

Thanks to healthcare reform, there are now more eyes on how doctors treat their patients and more opinions on how they should be treating them. But one physician leader says the pressure doesn’t necessarily mean that doctors have to be on the defensive.

HealthLeadersMedia.com – Physician Leadership News