Reputation management for a healthcare organization of any size demands the greatest level of engagement and the ability to quickly resolve patient grievances with the potential of exploding into a full-blown public relations crisis.
When it comes to having a healthy online reputation, hospitals need to engage in preventative care. Ensuring that your hospital has the highest marks demands a multifaceted approach that takes into account all stakeholders inclusive of referring or partner doctors, insurance providers, patients, and their families. Akin to hotels, hospital administrators and healthcare marketers will get their best bang for the buck by addressing customer experience first.
Have a Five-Star Approach
Take a soup-to-nuts approach to the service experience, and find ways to deliver seamless, stress-free interactions with your patients, doctors, ancillary services, and insurance providers. Simplify paperwork and invest in finding ways to improve customer-facing, service-level agreements.
Facilities with the best ratings are those that effectively balance state-of-the-art technology and expertise with superior customer experience. Find ways to provide individualized care. Consider a 24-hour concierge, and invest in finding ways to meet patients’ expectations with small details such as food and room comfort.
Invest in Emergency Services
Emergency care and intensive care are two of the most stressful and time-sensitive patient experiences. A large number of negative reviews for healthcare organizations focus on shortcomings originating from these departments.
Find ways to improve the customer experience, particularly as it relates to efficiency and patient focus. Audit your staff-to-patient ratio frequently, and make adjustments before it impacts your service level agreements. Make your emergency and ICU facilities patient and family friendly by incorporating details that provide a homely atmosphere. Make sure facilities and equipment are always in tip-top shape, and place special focus on sanitation. Small details such as a complimentary beverage station and fresh reading material in the waiting rooms make a significant difference when it comes to online ratings and reviews.
Run a Tight Billing Ship
A large number of negative reviews are often surrounding poor post-hospitalization experiences, specifically billing inaccuracies. Running a tight billing ship with a focus on accuracy and a commitment to clear client communications can significantly impact your online and offline reputation.
Invest in training for all customer-facing billing personnel. Foster a culture of care, and enforce processes that reduce the number of patient-billing issues falling through the cracks. Healthcare industry leaders highly suggest the implementation of a billing ombudsman or a point of escalation to empower patients facing billing discrepancies or insurance delays.
Join the Conversation
This is the easiest and most important reputation management step you can take. Make sure you have a panoramic view of your online business reputation landscape, and put tools and processes in place that facilitate interactive engagement between the hospital and the reviewer.
Answer reviews on the most popular, general, and medically focused review sites in a patient-centric fashion. Learn and implement review monitoring practices conducive to increased online engagement, increased ranking, and full understanding of the metrics impacting your reputation. Centralize and streamline your review responses to guarantee proper branding, accurate remediation, and protection of patient privacy. Involve both your PR and marketing departments to ensure positive reviews are maximized as marketing collateral, and negative reviews are addressed from an operational perspective to reduce repeat incidents. The right review monitoring platform in tandem with clear online reputation processes and policies can be a catalyst for excellence in online and offline reputation.