6 surprising things we learned about your patients in 2012

Fifteen months ago RealPatientRatings™ embarked on a two-fold mission:

  • Helping plastic surgeons take better care of their patients by providing real-time patient feedback in a 21st century web-based system
  • Helping cosmetic consumers find good doctors by publishing ratings and reviews guaranteed to be from real patients

Plastic surgery patients of 182 surgeons have completed over 13,000 surveys (5851 consult and 7458 surgery). Smartphones accounted for 21% of surveys. RealPatientRatings.com now has 8519 plastic surgery patient reviews, more than any other site in the world!

In fact, RealPatientRatings is conducting the largest real-time study of the plastic surgery patient experience. The resulting data is powerful and has challenged some long-standing industry beliefs.

1. Schedule more surgery by providing high-quality procedure education at consult

Despite extensive online availability of information, your patients’ primary driver of Likelihood to Schedule is the procedure information provided directly from the plastic surgeon. Practices who meet patient needs at consult satisfy at higher rates. Likelihood to schedule doubles among highly satisfied patients.

2. In-house cheerleaders make a differencemegaphone

Your team can help you schedule more surgery. Having a staff that consistently praises you to your patients fulfills a critical need for patients to trust you and feel safe. Data from thousands of consult surveys tells us that this staff endorsement is the 2nd most important factor in likelihood to schedule.

3. Discussing fees prior to consult increases scheduling rates

Many practices believe that fees should only be discussed at consult. But RPR data reveals higher intention to schedule among patients who were told fees in advance, i.e., 67%. Scheduling intent decreases to 45% when patients receive a quote that is “higher than expected”. This means losing 1 patient out of 3. Share your prices ranges on your website and on every inbound call, whether the patient asks directly about price or not.

interest_over_time_reviews

4. Reviews directly influence likelihood to schedule

Not only do today’s patients seek out reviews directly, the presence or absence of reviews directly affects their likelihood to move forward with surgery. Post your reviews on your website, print them out in the office, include them in your consultation packets…and please stop calling them testimonials. Nobody searches Google for testimonials!

5. “The answer to bad speech is more speech”

matt-cutts-bad-speech

The preponderance of negative online reviews for plastic surgeons (many of which are fake) suggests far more consumer unhappiness than is accurate. Since all patients are included in our feedback loop, RPR data is much more reliable and our reviews can’t be fabricated. Physician ratings on RPR are 11% to 34%* higher than traditional review sites because we eliminate angry ex-employees and competitors.

6. Patients want to be seen at times that work for them

You can nearly double Likelihood to Schedule when patients are highly satisfied with the availability of consult appointments. If your surgical schedule isn’t as full as you want, then increase consult appointment options for your patients. The longer you make them wait, the less likely they are to be highly satisfied.

While even the general information we’re providing can help you, you need to know how your practice is doing with your own patients. If you don’t survey them, how do you take advantage of their insights and better meet their needs (and yours!)?

*based on an internal study