Friday 29 July 2011

Why and when should doctors respond to reviews?

Earlier this year iWantGreatCare introduced the ability for doctors to post responses directly to reviews and comments about their care.

This was something that had been requested often but interestingly is less used, than asked for, by doctors (so far). The initial responses made by doctors have all been made to patient reviews that were less than positive, or raised concerns and misunderstandings. The responses made so far by doctors have been excellent: open, honest and engaging. It is clear that the best doctors appreciate being able to respond instantly and directly to patient concerns and in a way that is transparent to the wider public. Not only does this impress and build confidence with the individual patient who provided the initial review, but it also provides an innovative way to increase trust amongst those who are due to see that doctor, or those who are trying to make a choice about which doctor to be referred to.

However, there is a larger opportunity which the best doctors and organisations will I am sure increasingly use and that is to add comments and responses to a whole range of reviews - not just to those that highlight problems or concerns. Outside of healthcare those organisations that really get how to engage and build a relationship with users know the power of responding not only to “complaints”, but also to positive comments and general feedback.

Of course, it will not be practical to respond to every piece of feedback, but the occasional “thank you, glad to hear things are going well”, or “I’m glad your experience of the hospital was good, let us know if there is anything more we can do”, is a) the right thing to do and b) will make a huge and real difference to the perception of those making a choice about where they go for care.

iWantGreatCare makes it easy and quick for doctors to securely respond to reviews they receive.


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