Doctors are smart — really smart. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t emotional beings like the rest of us. That includes being susceptible to confirmation bias – which is usually unconscious, making it difficult to detect.
As healthcare providers, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of our patients’ experiences and perspectives. Patient reviews can provide valuable insights into how we can improve our practices and better serve our communities. However, many doctors hold misconceptions about patient reviews that can prevent them from fully engaging with this critical aspect of healthcare.
Are you ready to have some beliefs challenged?
In this article, we’ll explore six common lies that doctors tell themselves about patient reviews and why they’re not true.
Lie #1: “Patient reviews don’t matter.”
This lie is perhaps the most damaging of all, as it undermines the significance of patient reviews. The reality is that patient reviews do matter – a lot. They can impact the reputation of a healthcare provider, influence patient satisfaction, and even affect the bottom line. Additionally, patient reviews can serve as a valuable source of feedback, allowing providers to identify areas for improvement and make meaningful changes to their practices.
Often, bad reviews have nothing to do with the doctor! Operational challenges like scheduling, billing, and friendliness of the staff surrounding the doctor are the most common reasons for bad doctor reviews.
Lie #2: “If I just do a good job, the positive reviews will come.”
Many doctors believe that if they provide excellent care, their patients will naturally write positive reviews. However, the reality is that most patients don’t take the time to write reviews, regardless of whether their experience was positive or negative. Unfortunately, this means that it’s often only the upset patients who write reviews, giving the false impression that more negative experiences are happening.
It’s essential to remember that positive reviews are not just a result of providing good care but also a result of actively seeking them out and making it easy for patients to provide feedback. By encouraging patients to share their experiences, healthcare providers can get a more accurate and comprehensive picture of their patients’ experiences and make changes to improve the quality of care they provide.
Lie #3: “Negative reviews are just from unreasonable patients.”
It’s true that negative reviews may come from patients who are dissatisfied with their care, but they can also be a valuable source of constructive criticism. Negative reviews can provide insights into areas where providers may have fallen short and help to identify systemic issues within the healthcare system. By taking a proactive approach to negative reviews and using them as an opportunity for growth and improvement, doctors can improve the quality of care they provide and better serve their patients.
Don’t get us wrong – there are some cuh-RAZY people in this world, but if you think ALL of your negative reviews are from unreasonable patients (i.e. you’re perfect), you may want to reexamine your belief.
Lie #4: “Patients don’t understand the complexities of medicine.”
While it’s true that patients may not have the same level of medical knowledge as their healthcare providers, it’s important to remember that they are experts in their own experiences. Patients bring unique perspectives and insights to the table, and their experiences can help providers understand how they can better serve their communities. Additionally, patients often have a more intimate understanding of the impact that healthcare has on their daily lives, making their feedback particularly valuable.
Lie #5: “Patient reviews don’t accurately reflect my abilities as a doctor.”
This may or may not be a lie – depending on your approach to reputation management. If lots of your patients are leaving reviews, it’s probably reflective of your abilities. If only a few patients leave reviews, it may not be an accurate reflection of your practice.
However – it’s the most accurate reflection of your reputation that patients have. Especially your Google rating.
Of course, patient reviews are just one aspect of a doctor’s practice, and it’s important to keep this in mind when considering them. That being said, patient reviews can provide valuable insights into a doctor’s bedside manner, communication skills, and overall approach to care. By engaging with patient reviews, doctors can better understand how they’re perceived by their patients and make changes to improve the quality of care they provide.
Lie #6: “Reading and responding to reviews isn’t worth my time”
It’s true that doctors are busy people, but taking the time to engage with patient reviews is essential for providing high-quality care. By regularly monitoring patient reviews and taking a proactive approach to engaging with feedback, doctors can improve their practices and better serve their patients.
Additionally, responding to patient reviews can demonstrate to patients that their feedback is valued and taken seriously, building trust and improving patient satisfaction. It can also show that the healthcare provider is dedicated to continuous improvement and providing the best care possible.
Truly too busy? That’s OK – there are plenty of reputation management agencies that can manage this process for you and provide regular reporting. That way your time investment is low but your effectiveness is high.
Were any of your beliefs challenged? By recognizing and challenging the lies that we tell ourselves about patient reviews, we can improve the quality of care we provide and better serve our communities.