Busting Myths Series #5


Myth Busted!

Busting Myths with Marie Olesen

Separating Fact from Fiction

Myth #5 The two most significant consumer behavior trends in medicine are not related

Busted: There are two interconnected changes in consumer behavior. Consumers are changing what they want to buy (non-surgical) and how they want to buy it (ratings and reviews).

I describe my number one job at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre as understanding where the cosmetic consumer is and moving our practice to her. I’ve used patient feedback since 1988 to help me discern the need for change. I spend no time bemoaning her behavior or criticizing her buying processes. Our practice responds as quickly as I can identify her changing expectations. Sensing industry-wide trends, I introduced two technology products, Inform&Ehance® CRM in 1994 and RealPatientRatings™ in 2011.

My mythical advisor in this philosophy is Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars. As described by Obi-Wan,

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

Let’s apply the Force to the two biggest trends in consumer medicine. The growth of non-surgical represents a sea change opportunity for practices willing to adapt to what consumers want to buy. Like aligning with the Force, the effectiveness of this trend can be accelerated by adapting to the second most important change in consumer behavior. Consumers are changing how they want to buy. They want to use ratings and reviews.

Obi-Wan was described as a “Force sensitive individual.” When he spoke of aligning with the Force, he was talking about tapping into its power and using its impact to increase safety and to accelerate results. Being in the Force involves moral and ethical alignment, not attempts to misuse its power.

Ratings and reviews should help consumers make buying decisions more quickly and more safely. But what’s happening in the ratings and reviews environment is not always factual or ethical, hence undeserving of the accelerative power of the Force. I see increasing gamesmanship that is inconsistent with good medicine and our obligations to our patients.

The Myth is Busted

Consumers deserve transparency in the form of authentic, believable and recent ratings and reviews. They need 5-star scales, statistical validity (>30 ratings) and distributions with percentages that make it easy for them to validate quality.

If you want to accelerate the growth of non-surgical, add ratings and reviews for your non-surgical providers and procedures. Use patient feedback to gain insight into your care and communication systems. When you have ongoing QA, your scores will reflect the quality and attract more consumers.

May the Force be with you.

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RealPatientRatings - Marie Olesen Founder and Chief Patient Experience Officer