Online presence: Is your information easy to find?

A survey released in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that more patients are turning to online physician review sites to find information on health care providers. Of the national sample, 40 percent indicated that these sites are “very important” when choosing a provider.

Online reviews are another form of word of mouth and a way to establish your practice’s presence in the digital world. Reviews are about the patient experience, from scheduling the appointment to checkout.

For example, availability and scheduling options seem like ordinary information to have on your website, but where you display it could impact a review. Is this information easy to find and access during or after office hours? Do you have multiple ways for patients to schedule a visit?

According to a recent white paper published by Health Leaders Media, 8 out of 10 prospective patients will visit a hospital website before actually committing to it. With that said:

  • 5 out of 10 visit other provider websites.
  • 6 out of 10 find your website confusing.
  • 3 out of 10 dissatisfied with your website go to another provider.
  • 4 out of 10 dissatisfied are less likely to return.

You already took the first step into the digital world by creating your Angie’s List Business Center profile, now utilize it. Your profile is a one-stop-shop for Angie’s List members searching for health care providers. Regularly update your profile, informing members of new services offered, scheduling options or office hours.

Most importantly, sign in to access free review forms to hand out during patient check out. Place these forms with your receptionist or at the check-in window, and encourage patients for their feedback.

The best way to know and understand your patients’ expectations is to ask.