Online Reputation Management: A Virtuous Cycle Drives High Scores and Better Patient Experience at Kindred Healthcare
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Where does patient experience begin and end? Think about it from your own perspective. Say you’ve had knee pain for a few weeks and it’s not going away. You go online and research possible causes. Based on your research, you decide to see an orthopedist for an evaluation. You start looking for a doctor near you who specializes in treating knee pain. You read the Google reviews and find a doctor who has the highest number of positive, recent reviews with comments from happy, satisfied patients. You call to schedule an appointment.
Long story short, you have a very positive experience with the doctor and staff, and a great outcome — no more pain. Maybe you go online and leave a five-star review for the doctor, adding to the positive reputation that attracted you to that doctor in the first place. More likely, you don’t get around to it.
But what happens if you have a negative experience anywhere along the way? Maybe the office address is not up-to-date on Google, and you wind up at the wrong office. By the time you get to the right office, you’ve missed your appointment and have to reschedule. You write a scathing one-star review about your experience (before you even encountered a doctor), warning others that if they can’t even get their address and phone number right, how can you trust them to provide good care?”
Kindred Healthcare had a problem a few years back. “When we got started with the reputation program in 2013, a lot of our locations had no reviews, or the ones that were out there were overwhelmingly negative. We knew that didn’t tell the story of the care we provide,” says Amanda Henson, director of online reputation management at Kindred.
Today Kindred has a very different story. It went from 900 reviews in 2013 and an average star rating of 2.5 to 35,000 reviews with an average star rating of 4.5.
Henson shared details of Kindred’s successful online reputation management program during a recent eHST webinar, co-presenting with Lindsay Neese Burton, healthcare marketing director at Reputation.com. (Members can watch the full webinar or download slides here.)