Discussions

Proactively asking for reviews online?

Posted by Reed Smith @reedsmith, Fri, Apr 5 1:36pm

Does anyone proactively ask consumers for reviews? For example, texting patients after a clinic visit and asking about their experience – with a redirect to Google? If so I am working on a project and would love to pick your brain.

Hello @reedsmith. We do ask patients/family to leave feedback on Facebook and Google. This is championed by each facility CEO and/or development staff. The process currently is word-of-mouth and limited print. I have some facilities that are really good at this and others that are not.

We are currently working through the process of phasing in kiosk and email functionality into the solicitation process. Additionally, we are looking at the value of 1st-party reviews and the impact on SEO and reporting.

interesting point. There is an assumption that customer feedback will eventually result in better service, which I think is true in many industries, but I am not too sure about healthcare.

For example, in one study, better patient satisfaction was associated with higher medical costs and increased mortality. (REF: https://health.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/6223 ).

It's speculated that physicians are more aggressive with unnecessary testing and medicines if they are too focused on patient satisfaction – especially if patient satisfaction affects the physician's salary.

I think a fundamental question with any healthcare feedback system is this: Is the primary intent to improve health or improve revenue? We certainly want them to overlap, but there is a potentially significant hidden cost of feedback to both the patients and the providers if they don't.

Then again, to balance my own comments, there is the Cleveland Clinic's business success story ( Healthcare's Service Fanatics – Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2013/05/health-cares-service-fanatics)

Hi Reed!

We use Podium, which sends an auto text to anyone with a hygiene appointment that day to leave a review. It gives them a link, if they click on it they then have the option to use Google or Facebook to leave their review. We started with the company as our clinics had low review numbers and star ratings below a 2.5. Since then every clinic is now above a 4-star and we receive great feedback from our patients. In June it will be one year with the company.

@kaylaschaffer31

Hi Reed!

We use Podium, which sends an auto text to anyone with a hygiene appointment that day to leave a review. It gives them a link, if they click on it they then have the option to use Google or Facebook to leave their review. We started with the company as our clinics had low review numbers and star ratings below a 2.5. Since then every clinic is now above a 4-star and we receive great feedback from our patients. In June it will be one year with the company.

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That is awesome! Question, and happy to take offline. Did you have any issues with legal or compliance when you decided to do this? Did you all have to update your privacy policy?

@reedsmith

That is awesome! Question, and happy to take offline. Did you have any issues with legal or compliance when you decided to do this? Did you all have to update your privacy policy?

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Sadly it was before my time but I can tell you we did not update our privacy policy.

@jshellenberger

Hello @reedsmith. We do ask patients/family to leave feedback on Facebook and Google. This is championed by each facility CEO and/or development staff. The process currently is word-of-mouth and limited print. I have some facilities that are really good at this and others that are not.

We are currently working through the process of phasing in kiosk and email functionality into the solicitation process. Additionally, we are looking at the value of 1st-party reviews and the impact on SEO and reporting.

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@jshellenberger – a followup question. Do you take steps to invite only happy patients? Or do you open the reviews to all?

Liked by Angi Moore

Following, as this is on my "to do" list. We hope to implement an automated email and/or text survey at various times of the sales process. In senior living, we would survey after tours, after move in and after about 6 months of residency. We are weighing the options of when would be the most valuable time to obtain Google reviews. We are also looking into integrating our current customer and employee Pinnacle surveys with Google.

A question for @DanHinmon : Any insight into why the Mayo Clinic doesn’t enable Facebook Reviews and why Cleveland Clinic turned off Facebook Reviews last year?

Although I don’t think anyone should follow what the Mayo and Cleveland Clinic do blindly, as the recently selected two top hospitals (per Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/2019/04/05/10-best-hospitals-world-1368512.html) in the world, I think it’s valuable to at least understand these two organization’ s approach to publicly published patient reviews.

These are all really interesting responses!
@reedsmith One thing we do is create letters and postcards for our physicians to mail to their patients after an appointment with instructions on how to leave a review on Google for them. The physicians that request these assets are very saavy when it comes to online reviews and are actively trying to increase the number of reviews they obtain on Google.
We have found that the benefits of this from an SEO and search perspective outweigh the time cost on our end to implement this tactic.
We have also created this site: https://www.foxchase.org/spreadtheword. I will say, we don't have any active campaigns directing to this, but it is something that we have found handy for linking to in the past when the opportunity arises.
As far as reviews on Facebook, we have made a conscious decision to enable the recommendation feature. One of our objectives on that channel is building and deepening relationships. This outlet for our patients is something that we use to further that objective in that we are able to continue conversations and respond to them one on one. In the cases where a negative recommendation (or review) is left – these are really not that common, we find that often it is a learning opportunity. Again, we have found that the benefits outweigh the risks – at least at this point in time. 🙂 But it's not something that we actively encourage or attempt to get more of. Thank you, @matthewrehrl for asking about Mayo Clinic's rationale – looking forward to hearing that perspective!
I have attached a document that I found really interesting. It is a white paper that Press Ganey released that really highlights the potential weight of patients sharing their experiences. While not directly related to soliciting online reviews, I hope you all find it interesting, too!

Shared files

Press Ganey Brand White Paper (1) (Press-Ganey-Brand-White-Paper-1.pdf)

@laurynb

These are all really interesting responses!
@reedsmith One thing we do is create letters and postcards for our physicians to mail to their patients after an appointment with instructions on how to leave a review on Google for them. The physicians that request these assets are very saavy when it comes to online reviews and are actively trying to increase the number of reviews they obtain on Google.
We have found that the benefits of this from an SEO and search perspective outweigh the time cost on our end to implement this tactic.
We have also created this site: https://www.foxchase.org/spreadtheword. I will say, we don't have any active campaigns directing to this, but it is something that we have found handy for linking to in the past when the opportunity arises.
As far as reviews on Facebook, we have made a conscious decision to enable the recommendation feature. One of our objectives on that channel is building and deepening relationships. This outlet for our patients is something that we use to further that objective in that we are able to continue conversations and respond to them one on one. In the cases where a negative recommendation (or review) is left – these are really not that common, we find that often it is a learning opportunity. Again, we have found that the benefits outweigh the risks – at least at this point in time. 🙂 But it's not something that we actively encourage or attempt to get more of. Thank you, @matthewrehrl for asking about Mayo Clinic's rationale – looking forward to hearing that perspective!
I have attached a document that I found really interesting. It is a white paper that Press Ganey released that really highlights the potential weight of patients sharing their experiences. While not directly related to soliciting online reviews, I hope you all find it interesting, too!

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@laurynb I am not sure on CC but for MC there was a concerted campaign by a detractor to drive 1-star comments to the page. MC made the decision to just turn it off vs trying to get all the comments removed.

@reedsmith

@laurynb I am not sure on CC but for MC there was a concerted campaign by a detractor to drive 1-star comments to the page. MC made the decision to just turn it off vs trying to get all the comments removed.

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Geez! That sounds like a social nightmare. Thanks for the insight, @reedsmith!

@DanHinmon

@jshellenberger – a followup question. Do you take steps to invite only happy patients? Or do you open the reviews to all?

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@DanHinmon, I do not know that we officially target only happy patients. We are fortunate that our staff (up to and including CEOs) are encouraged to engage with patients while they are under our care. The 'ask' is usually at the culmination of several interactions during their stay–so they may naturally skew a little in that direction.

While a significant portion of our reviews are post-discharge, we do get reviews during care. When these are negative in nature, our policy is to to notify the location CEO immediately. We have had success in addressing the patient's concerns and have on numerous occasions seen 1-star reviews updated to 4- or 5-star reviews.

I see negative reviews as recovery opportunities. While I certainly do not welcome negative reviews, I embrace them and work with the team to find a remedy.

What I tell folks here is that we are not perfect. We can't always control family dynamics and we do have some employees that have bad days, but when a review is received they are all reviewed by our team. If they are negative, we stop everything and work to identify the patient and remedy the situation.

It is an extension of our "treat patients/family members as they want to be treated" philosophy that is taught to employees from day 1.

Thank you @laurynb for the excellent Press Ganey white paper. I agree with their conclusions (within their context of defining patients as consumers), but one word of caution when considering reviews and feedback loops – ask the question “how could this feedback system hurt our patients?”

Remember, physicians are people too, and one public negative review, justified or not, could negatively impact the care of that physician’s next 1000 patients they see. It could result in early retirement or a provider costing $100,000 of dollars in replacement cost, or worst case, it could result in contributing to a physician suicide (already a significant problem area).

When we think of patients as “consumers”, and physicians as “service providers”, there is an unavoidable component of dehumanization that will come with this. I am not saying we should avoid getting consumer feedback as a business; just understand that it can come with a significant human cost.

@reedsmith

@laurynb I am not sure on CC but for MC there was a concerted campaign by a detractor to drive 1-star comments to the page. MC made the decision to just turn it off vs trying to get all the comments removed.

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@matthewrehrl @laurynb Reed summarized the Mayo Clinic decision to block reviews really well. Troll in action. It skewed the ratings so bad there was no way to overcome it.

@jshellenberger

@DanHinmon, I do not know that we officially target only happy patients. We are fortunate that our staff (up to and including CEOs) are encouraged to engage with patients while they are under our care. The 'ask' is usually at the culmination of several interactions during their stay–so they may naturally skew a little in that direction.

While a significant portion of our reviews are post-discharge, we do get reviews during care. When these are negative in nature, our policy is to to notify the location CEO immediately. We have had success in addressing the patient's concerns and have on numerous occasions seen 1-star reviews updated to 4- or 5-star reviews.

I see negative reviews as recovery opportunities. While I certainly do not welcome negative reviews, I embrace them and work with the team to find a remedy.

What I tell folks here is that we are not perfect. We can't always control family dynamics and we do have some employees that have bad days, but when a review is received they are all reviewed by our team. If they are negative, we stop everything and work to identify the patient and remedy the situation.

It is an extension of our "treat patients/family members as they want to be treated" philosophy that is taught to employees from day 1.

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Thanks for the details, @jshellenberger. I'm impressed with how your organization has incorporated social media reviews with active patient care. Great example. One more question – is it usually just a verbal ask, or do they receive an email or handout of some kind to encourage reviews?

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