Last week, we discussed how physicians can overcome the various challenges of online reviews. A growing number of healthcare groups are understanding the realities of online ratings and reviews, and are taking matters into their own hands. Two recent stories highlight how hospitals are becoming more transparent by publishing patient reviews online.
On April 18, we came across an article published by Kaiser Health News about the University of Utah Health Care beginning to post physician ratings on its own website.
Some of the physicians at Utah Health Care had been trying to cope with various harmful online reviews. Like many other health providers around the nation, Utah Health Care was collecting data from its patients. But the data was only being used internally.
Now, by publicly publishing ratings to the Utah Health Care website, the group hopes that when a patient searches one of its physicians online, the hospital’s own physician page will be listed first in search engine results.
In its own twist on the Utah Health Care approach, the Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare group recently announced it is publishing uncensored physician reviews, according to another Healthcare IT News article. The hospital system similarly wants to be more transparent, and says it will publish both positive and negative comments.
In our April 21 blog post, we noted that the sources of false physician reviews include non-patients such as disgruntled former employees and competitors. According to the Healthcare IT News article, the reviews Piedmont Healthcare publishes online will be authored by “verified Piedmont patients.”
The article also notes that Oklahoma’s Integris Health planned to begin posting patient online reviews at the end of April.
When it comes to online reviews, we stress the importance of being proactive when possible. While there is little one can do to stop someone from going online and posting disparaging remarks about them, the steps being taken by these hospital systems to help control their online reputations is admirable.
Physicians and health care providers should have a say in how they are viewed online, and these techniques are great way to accomplish this.
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