What Are Your Patients Saying about You Online?

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2016


Online review websites like Yelp and Healthgrades appear to be here to stay. And, many patients are taking online reviews into consideration when choosing a physician.

The journalism organization ProPublica has gained access to more than 1.7 million public reviews of health care providers through a partnership with Yelp. It identified 3,500 of the lowest (one-star) reviews in which patients mention privacy or HIPAA and found that there were dozens of cases in which patient complaints about medical care led to disputes over patient privacy.

The majority of Yelp's health care reviews, however, are not about health care delivery. Most reviews address wait times, front office staff interactions, billing, or bedside manner. Responses to these reviews from help care providers are typically appropriate and include apologies and requests for patients to contact them offline.

Additionally, a significant number of online health care reviews are positive, and there are ways to cultivate positive online reviews.

Online Reputation Management CME from PAMED

What are the best practices for physicians who wish to respond appropriately to online reviews? Physicians who are looking for ways to manage their online reviews can find practical advice using the Pennsylvania Medical Society's (PAMED) on-demand CME series "Online Reputation Management." Find out more about how online reviews work and why it is critical that physicians monitor these reviews.

This three-part online program is free for PAMED members and shows physicians how to:

  • Monitor their reviews from various online sites 
  • Respond appropriately to critical comments from patients 
  • Become proactive in crafting their reputation through various online platforms


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