Dr. Shaw came across a review from a patient who said he seemed rushed during her appointment, but he didn’t reply to it, because he realized it had been written six years ago. He did, however, take it to heart and take action. “If it’s specific, I assess what I’m doing,” he said, adding that he made a concentrated effort to slow down when seeing patients.
While improving bedside manner and other skills are important, they are not enough to maintain your reputation. Online reviews have become a growing concern, given the many different places people can leave comments about their experiences with you, said Laura Mikulski, vice president of business development and physician relations at Physician Referral Marketing, a healthcare marketing agency based in Ferndale, Mich., that handles reputation management for physicians. “There’s such a high capacity for people to leave reviews when they don’t feel they are heard or valued as a patient,” she added.
According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, 77% of consumers use online reviews as the first step in finding a new physician. And, as the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.