How to Navigate Healthcare Review Sites

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The healthcare industry is constantly changing in today’s world, whether it be scheduling and rules for visitation to whether or not offices are even accepting new patients. Doctor’s offices and hospitals post new guidelines all the time, which is why it’s smart to first and foremost check the websites of exactly where you attend for all their latest information.

Maybe you’re looking for a new doctor or specialist, or maybe you already have a doctor you like. Regardless, the healthcare industry affects everyone in their life at some point. This is exactly why doing your own research and sharing your experience for others to see can be extremely helpful and informative. It’s also super important for businesses and medical professionals to stay on top of their online reputation by monitoring reviews.

Doing all this research can sound like a daunting task at first, but we’ve included some information on the top healthcare review sites below to make it easier. These answers are to help potential or past patients navigate review sites. Additionally, if you’re a medical professional, this may just give you some extra information to assist you while navigating these sites. Online reviews matter, as they help businesses provide better experiences for customers while gaining an edge on the competition. Here are the answers to some of the common questions regarding HealthGrades, RateMDs, and Vitals.

HealthGrades

Who can leave a review here? 

This review site is for customers to leave reviews for doctors and dentists. 

What is useful to me on this page? 

HealthGrades has many useful tools, including a location-based search bar, so that you can simply add the location you’re searching and it will show you professionals in only that area. You can also search for doctors, conditions, or procedures. They additionally offer appointment guides based on condition. 

Some other details this platform highlights are professional certifications, degrees and licenses, hospital relationships, how many other offices they have, insurance providers they work with, personal details, and their schedule. Of course, the main benefit of using HealthGrades is reading up on the reviews of a potential doctor, if you’re considering surgery, for example. Knowing what past customers have experienced with these professionals should hold great weight when determining who will fit your needs best.

How does the rating system work? 

HealthGrades offers a one-to-five rating system. After you’ve created your personal profile, you are able to leave a review. After you submit a review, you will then receive an automated email or text message from the platform. You then must follow the instructions within the email or text to confirm your review before it will be processed. After confirming your submission, the average star rating you left for the professional is immediately posted to their profile. Note that if you left comments within your review, it may take a little longer to show up on the profile page. 

Once your review is posted, you are not able to go back in and edit it. You may only delete it and then start the process over once again. It is also very easy to flag any review for removal for any reason. The site’s flagging options include “Inappropriate content,” “Privacy concerns,” and “Other,” which leaves it open for all reviewers to give their reasoning on why a review should be taken down. All other content guidelines and details are written on this page.

Should I manage my profile if I’m a doctor or dentist? 

Yes! You can claim your free profile by visiting this page. Not only is this profile great for expanding your personal reputation online, but you will also be able to engage with past customers and gain helpful feedback to improve your practices. The profile also allows you to add a headshot, awards, and certifications, as well as even create other profiles for colleagues in your practice.

RateMDs

Who can leave a review here? 

This reviews site is for customers to rate doctors.

What is useful to me on this page? 

This page offers many useful details about doctors, including location-based search, the gender of which you prefer, doctors that are accepting new patients, as well as other educational details. You can also access the hospital affiliations. Reading other patient reviews can help to make future decisions when choosing a professional to help you. This platform additionally offers the option to leave reviews for a doctor’s office staff and wait time. The detailed FAQ page can answer other questions you may have.

How does the rating system work?

The scoring system is from one to five stars. The Overall Quality rating is the average of the category ratings. To rate a doctor or a facility, you can search by name, city, or country with the “Find a Doctor” or “Find a Facility” search feature. If your doctor is not listed, you can add a doctor and rate them. If your doctor is already listed, just click their name to see their ratings and rate them (look for the “Rate This Doctor” button).

There are no real content guidelines on this platform. They state to only rate doctors for whom you have first-hand knowledge, and you can only review your doctor once. Rating them more than once may result in all your ratings being removed. All reviews are posted immediately; however, sometimes the web pages are cached for a couple of minutes, so you may need to wait a minute or two to see your rating show up. Also, the site’s automated spam filters will sometimes hide your comments until a human reviewer checks them, but the numerical ratings are still displayed immediately. 

You can also flag reviews by clicking the “Flag” icon next to any review. The reasons you can flag a review include but are not limited to, profanity, private information, spam, wrong provider, and other. You can also add any additional information, which gives you space to explain why you want a review removed. The flagged reviews are reviewed by staff at the platform.

Should I manage my profile if I’m a doctor? 

Yes, managing your profile is important. By claiming your profile here, you open the opportunity to improve your online presence, as well as gain valuable feedback from past patients. RateMD also takes paid advertisements from doctors, which can gain you more exposure.

Vitals

Who can leave a review here? 

This reviews site is for customers to leave reviews for doctors and dentists. 

What is useful to me on this page?

Finding a doctor or dentist by specialty, name, or condition is how you can search on this platform. This site also places a highlight on a doctor who consistently gets higher rankings with a badging system, which includes people’s choice and top 10 doctors. 

How does the rating system work?

The rating system here is a one-to-four star rating system. The reviewers here can include details like bedside manner, accurate diagnosis, and wait time. Some of these details differ from the other two platforms. The platform doesn’t edit any of the comments or rating selections of doctors or practices, but they do reserve the right to remove public postings and any comments which may be deemed offensive, malicious, inappropriate, sexually explicit in nature, or not made in good faith. In order to improve the patient experience, the platform now only displays moderated patient reviews that are submitted.

Should I manage my profile if I’m a doctor or dentist? 

Yes, you can claim your free profile through the steps on this page. There is a detail on this profile that will show whether or not a doctor is active, meaning the professional is actively licensed or not. Sometimes this can mean that the professional just simply isn’t verified with the practice they operate. This is just another reason that doctors should stay on top of their listings online, to be sure that all information is accurate and properly represented.

Final Thoughts

Doing the proper research for whatever your healthcare circumstance may be will be much easier knowing where to go and how to start your research first. Comparing the information you find from review site to review site should also give you more confidence about a professional and help you to make the best decision when it comes to your health.

For medical professionals looking to improve their online presence, check out our Online Reputation Management services at Go Fish Digital and explore our blog for more resources, such as When to Respond to Online Reviews (And How).

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