Yelp. TripAdvisor. Angie’s List. Healthgrades. No person or organization maintains immunity from scrutiny by consumers. Although reviews can be both uplifting and embarrassing, they surely capture the attention of both the reviewer and the reviewed.
As the Affordable Care Act expands coverage and high deductible health plans capture more money from consumer pockets, increasing numbers of patients focus on the quality of services received from providers. These services extend beyond patient care to encompass patient experience metrics that are easily judged by the average consumer including respectfulness exhibited by caregivers, pleasantness of facilities, and wait times. Patients with sub-par experiences often post negative comments on one or more social media platforms to express their dissatisfaction. These posts then form the building blocks for a provider’s online reputation.
As patients act more like consumers, provider organizations with poor reputations experience decreased utilization of services which hurts revenue and the bottom line. With margins small and competition increasing for patients, few organizations can afford a decline in patient visits.