Psychologists and psychiatrists need to embrace online patient reviews so patients can find the right doctor. But, it's critical that patients remain anonymous to protect their privacy.
Online patient reviews are evolving from important to critical. In the medical field, most healthcare providers are seeing the value as patients search online for the right doctor and healthcare providers are looking for new patients from online resources.
Specialty areas of healthcare providers that have been slower to pick up online reviews as a valuable method for medical marketing are psychologists and psychiatrists.
Patient Reviews are Imporatant for Psychologists and Psychiatrists
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), with additions made in 2013, places strict laws on sharing medical and mental health information. The goal is to protect the patient’s privacy. Every psychologist knows that mental health records are even more strictly protected than regular health records. This is because most patients do not want their innermost fears, desires, and emotions broadcasted anywhere.
We previously outlined why patient reviews for psychologists are vital for both patient and psychologist. The patient has a right to privacy, even when leaving a review for their doctors, which is why plusdoc.com offers anonymity in reviews.
Patient Review Anonymity
The reason patient anonymity is important is because it would be difficult to leave a good review without giving detailed information about a patient’s condition and treatment. A good review includes a list of diagnoses, medications, treatments, and how the psychologist treated them. This way, other patients can determine if that psychologist is best for them.
Leaving anonymous reviews can be a complicated matter. For example, if a patient gives a basic review of “I didn’t like this doctor,” then most new patients will store that in the back of their mind and skip over that profile, thereby causing that psychologist to lose a new patient.
However, if the patient gives a detailed explanation as to why they did not like that psychologist, then new patients can judge for themselves whether it is a fair and accurate review. Only 31% of consumers trust online reviews that seem authentic.
Verified Doctor Reviews
Our Verified Doctor Reviews offers an anonymous review collection, so patients do not need to worry about their name, address, and phone numbers being attached to the information they put in their review; however, it is important for them to understand fully how this works. We place strong emphasis on protecting a psychologist’s reputation with these reviews.
Many doctor rating sites are viewed with skepticism because patients can vent with impunity, and sometimes can be cruelly unjust in their assessment. With the verified doctor reviews, the psychologist gets to review the validity of that review, and therefore work with the patient to resolve any issues they may have had.
Anonymity is only needed to ensure the public does not get hold of sensitive information. It is not useful if the doctor being reviewed does not know which patient is praising them or complaining about them.
Protect Doctors' Reputations
It is important for patients to understand that a doctor’s reputation and business is on the line with reviews, so if there is a genuine issue, it should be resolved privately with the practitioner.
PLUSdoc offers psychologists and psychiatrists a method for collecting verified doctor reviews while at the same time keeping patients annonymous. Our online medical marketing software is the only reputation management software that has a dual verification system that allows patients to submit a review, positive or negative, and have the treating doctor verifiy that the online doctor review is from a real patient.