Your patients are spending more time thinking about their health due to COVID-19. Some are specifically concerned they may have contracted the virus, but others are having the standard health issues you’d expect on any given day.
These patients are searching for providers, and many are using online healthcare provider review sites and social media sites to make their decisions. Binary Fountain’s 2019 Consumer Healthcare survey found that about 60% of patients start their search online, and 40% rely on online reviews
The number of online review websites has been growing significantly, which has made it easier for consumers to find patient reviews about providers. Searching the name of any provider on Google will typically show several provider review sites listed on the first page of the results. This increase in quantity and ease of use has increased the importance of online reviews for providers looking to attract more of the patients they are best suited to serve.
You can increase your chances of consumers selecting your practice by managing your listings on the top provider review sites.
Here are the top six online listings you should be managing to expand your online presence and attract the patients your best able to serve, based on their conditions.
Google My Business
Providers who practice at multiple locations should start by claiming and optimizing their Google My Business (GMB) profile. The process is fairly simple and can be done through a GMB account, which you’ll need to create if you don’t have one already.
Claiming and optimizing your GMB profile is an important practice for visibility on Google search results without requiring the searcher to click any links, which is known as a zero-click search result. This is a valuable practice for quickly allowing a patient who is searching for you to know where you practice, view questions proposed by other consumers, and monitor online reviews regarding your care.
Be sure to read our in-depth article on Google My Business to learn more about GMB best practices.
Healthgrades is a user-friendly interface that helps consumers find a provider. Potential patients can search providers by category, as well as browse patient reviews. Be sure to claim your profile, post a profile picture, and fill in other relevant information to increase your online reach.
Healthgrades also has provider-friendly review practices. If a review violates Healthgrades’s policy, providers can flag it for removal. These violations include profanity, libelous information, privacy concerns, false allegations, and spam.
Providers seeking more reviews can take advantage of Healthgrades’ personalized postcards and emails, which are sent to patients to encourage them to leave reviews on the site. Providers should always encourage reviews, both to increase their online reach and to obtain valuable feedback regarding their care.
Providers who manage their practices should also consider Healthgrades advertising solutions. They offer you opportunities to integrate advertisements into their content, enabling you to be top of mind with consumers who are actively looking for information on relevant health conditions.
Vitals is designed to be a single health information source and has succeeded in getting over a million physicians on its site. The site allows providers to display a wide range of information about themselves, including practice address, phone number, what languages they speak, and if they are accepting new patients or not. You can also enable appointment booking via Vitals.
Prospective patients can search for providers by practice, insurance accepted, location, specialty, and more. They’re also able to search patient reviews. The platform currently has over 9 million reviews and ratings on its site, so you’ll want to monitor what your patients are saying on a quarterly basis.
To learn how you can get an automatic update on all of your reviews across 200+ websites, including all of the sites listed in this article, be sure to read about our Patient Experience (PX) Score reports.
CareDash is the only provider related review site on our list that requires patients to create logins to leave reviews. Their feedback is checked rigorously using data analysis and artificial intelligence, giving the site a unique level of authority.
Start by finding and claiming your CareDash listing. Only create a new listing if you do not have an unclaimed listing on the site. CareDash reports that profiles with photos gain more traffic, so be sure to post a friendly and professional photo as soon as your listing is claimed. Be sure to also check the existing information in your profile for accuracy and add any details that set you apart.
Fountain Analytics provides CareDash with Patient Experience Scores included on the provider listings. Click here to learn more about our partnership with CareDash.
RateMDs has been used by patients since 2004. Their five-star rating system rates all providers on punctuality, helpfulness, knowledge, and treatment by the staff.
Claiming your profile is a must but is a little more work than some of the other sites. You’ll need your driver’s license number or billing statement to complete the process. Also, you’ll need to contact the support team directly to request a review be removed if you feel it is unfair.
You may also want to consider the monthly paid features that RateMDs has to offer. The features include an ability to hide three comments per month, the ability to both place banner ads on competitor’s profiles and block such banners from your profile, and electronic appointment request service.
WebMD is well-known as a patient geared website, but the “Find a Doctor” and “Find a Dentist” sections should not be overlooked by providers. Many of the site’s visitors may be researching symptoms they are experiencing, which presents an opportunity to connect with patients while their conditions are top of mind.
Like many of the sites listed above, the site builds unclaimed listings. Be sure to search for a claim your listing before creating a new profile. Be sure to fill out your profile completely and add a professional photo for best results.
Don’t forget to include a link to your practice’s website to take advantage of WebMD’s high Domain authority. The technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) term for this backlinking and gaining links and website visits from high domain authority websites such as WebMD will help your website’s SEO rankings.
A Final Tip
While the six online listings above are important to manage, it’s a best practice to monitor your reviews from as many sources as possible. Online reviews help potential patients decide which providers to visit, and helps providers understand what’s most important to their patients.
Click here to learn how Fountain Analytics’ Patient Experience (PX) Report can help you monitor reviews on sites like Google, Vitals, RateMDs, Healthgrades, CareDash, and WebMD.