In our increasingly tech-driven world, your bariatric surgery reputation can live and die online. Sixty-eight percent of patients use online review sites to select a healthcare professional, but a massive 50% of healthcare facilities have no online reviews.
That’s why it’s so important to understand exactly what patients are looking for and where they’re looking for it before you can effectively build your reputation and grow your practice.
So how do you build a 5-star reputation for your bariatric surgery practice? Read on to find out.
- Your reputation is important for building your bariatric surgery practice.
- Patients increasingly look to online reviews when choosing a surgeon.
- The key attributes patients look for in reviews are high quality of care, accurate diagnoses, good listening skills, easy-to-schedule appointments, and friendly medical staff.
Why is Bariatric Surgery Reputation So Important?
Having a good reputation means that you are widely recognized for delivering exceptional care. Providing the best care possible not only helps your patients achieve their weight loss goals but also enables them to enjoy a better quality of life.
If you’re known for your 5-star reputation, you can:
- Retain patients and attract more referrals
- Build a large and high-quality caseload
- See your practice grow and thrive
Where Do Patients Look for a Reputable Bariatric Surgeon?
Today’s patients are increasingly turning to online reviews to make their choice. According to a survey by Software Advice, 65% of respondents used review sites “often” or “sometimes” to evaluate healthcare professionals, up from 25% in 2013.
The most visited site is Google reviews, closely followed by Healthgrades, Yelp, and RateMDs.
Word of mouth is no longer restricted to each patient’s personal network. The prevalence of online reviews means that any patient can broadcast their opinion to countless others online, underscoring the importance of online reviews in building your reputation.
What Do Patients Look for in a Bariatric Surgeon?
After insurance coverage, the next top three criteria patients use to select a healthcare professional are:
- Convenience such as the distance from their home.
- Recommendations from friends and family.
- Doctor ratings discovered on review sites.
This demonstrates the importance of good online ratings in attracting new patients.
5 Key Attributes to Build a 5-Star Bariatric Surgery Reputation
Devoting energy to improving the following attributes in your practice can help you build a strong reputation:
1. High Quality of Care
High quality of care comes down to strong medical outcomes and a smooth patient experience throughout. By ensuring you have fully engaged and prepared patients, you will improve your outcomes and the patient experience as a whole.
Pre-operation, you can:
- Include your patients in the entire decision-making process.
- Provide thorough preoperative support, including counseling and nutritional education, to set patients up for success.
- Communicate everything patients should expect on the day of surgery to demystify the process.
- Take the time to answer all the patient’s questions.
Post-operation, you can:
- Provide a clear contact person so patients know they can reach out for ongoing support.
- Follow up with patients regularly to address any complications or concerns.
2. Accurate Diagnoses
Estimates put the rate of misdiagnosis at 9.6% across vascular events, infections, and cancer. While the issue of misdiagnoses might be less significant in bariatrics, this does not make patients any less concerned about it when looking for a surgeon.
Inaccurate diagnoses waste time and resources for both you and your patients and deal significant damage to your reputation. You can address misdiagnosis by:
- Always allocating plenty of time to give each patient your full attention.
- Engaging patients throughout their bariatric journey to make them partners in catching any issues or errors.
- Keeping good records of any misdiagnoses so you can gauge the scope of the issue at your practice.
- Asking for thorough patient feedback to help identify cases of misdiagnosis.
- Fostering a culture of learning from mistakes within your practice.
3. Good Listening Skills
Patients who feel listened to are more likely to trust you as their healthcare professional and rate your practice highly.
You can practice good active listening by:
- Facing your patient and making eye contact.
- Paying close attention to their body language, like crossed arms that indicates they’re feeling defensive.
- Showing that you’re listening by nodding and saying things like “yes” and “uh-huh.”
- Not interrupting.
- Listening to everything your patient has to say before you decide how to respond.
- Asking clarifying questions to make sure you’ve understood them.
- Paraphrasing and summarizing what your patient said to show that you heard and understood everything.
Dedicate time to improving your active listening skills to ensure you are giving your patients the best possible care.
4. Easy-to-Schedule Appointments
Patients want the scheduling of their appointment to be easy and convenient. You can ensure this is the case by providing multiple ways for them to schedule, including over the phone and through self-service tools like an online portal. This means that patients can make appointments in the way that is most convenient for them.
You might also include providing options for appointments on weeknights and weekends to accommodate a variety of patient schedules.
5. Friendly Medical Staff
Every member of your staff contributes to your patients’ bariatric journey. They should understand and invest in the core values of your practice, which act as the foundation of everything you do and every interaction you have.
In a busy practice, issues of efficiency can easily overshadow the core values – like compassion, kindness, honesty, reliability, and trust – that draw you into healthcare in the first place. You can reconnect your staff with these values by:
- Communicating the core values clearly and often. Posters can be a great visual reminder, and highlighting examples of the core values in practice during meetings can keep them top of mind.
- Asking your staff for feedback. Do they see these values reflected in their day-to-day, or are there processes that contradict the values?
- Empowering staff to let the core values guide everything they do. Reward decision-making based on those values.
Michael from Box of Crayons delves deeper into the importance of core values in the video below.
Use Care Automation to Build Your Bariatric Surgery Reputation
Building a 5-star reputation takes time, but Wellbe’s personalized care automation makes the process easy. By taking hundreds of administrative tasks off your hands, Wellbe can make the bariatric journey smoother and give you more time to spend with patients.
Consult our solutions specialists to find out how Wellbe can boost your surgical reputation.