PT Classroom - Patients Have a Voice Online…and They’re Using it  ׀ by Tannus Quatre PT, MBA


Tannus Quatre graduated from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) with a Master's degree in physical therapy. Tannus has worked as a physical therapist in both California and Oregon, and has clinical experience in a variety of healthcare settings including acute care, sports medicine, outpatient, inpatient, and home health. Tannus also holds a Master's in Business Administration from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and has experience in healthcare administration in the non-profit hospital setting. Tannus puts all this extensive training to work through his role as lead consultant for Vantage Consulting.

Patients Have a Voice Online…and They’re Using it


One of the best things about the Internet is ease of communication. Whether you want to learn from others or share your own story, the flow of information is a mere click away. And it just so happens that learning, sharing, and clicking is exactly what patients are doing.

Through a growing number of business and healthcare review websites, patients are speaking openly about their healthcare experiences, and in a candid manner. From the best of experiences to the worst, your patients have a voice online…and they are using it.

The opportunities and threats that lie within online reviews is staggering. Several 5-star ratings and your practice stands clearly apart from the crowd. One or two bad ones however, and online window shoppers might decide that taking a chance on your practice isn’t going to make their “to-do” list.

The good news is that you likely have many patients in your practice this very day who would be honored to provide you with the highest of online marks…if they only knew where to start.

The trick is to (1) Know what your patients are already saying, and to (2) make sure your most pleased patients are speaking about you online.

And how do you start, you ask? It’s easy.

Step 1: Know what your patients are saying

Visit the most popular online review sites, and see first-hand what is being said about your practice. Many sites exist, and we recommend you stick with the big ones, at least to start. General sites like Yahoo Local, Google Maps, Yelp, and Angie’s List are some of the most popular.

Following this, healthcare specific sites such as HealthGrades, RateMD’s, and are good places to look for categorical reviews of your performance by your patients.

And if you’re not seeing reviews of yourself or your practice, don’t feel left out. It’s simply time to proceed to Step 2 and start building your online reputation.

Step 2: Get your pleased patients talking

This part is easier than you might think. Simply start by educating your Internet-savvy patients as to the benefit of online feedback for your practice. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your patients will flock to tell the masses about how you’ve cared for them, helped their family, or saved their life. If you want to make it a step easier, provide links to popular review sites from your website. Help them out by providing these links, and they’ll be a-clicking away in no time.

Everybody wants cheap advertising, and leveraging the benefit of online reviews is about as cheap as it gets. Don’t forget however, that online reviews work both ways. For every possible good remark, there is also the potential for a bad, which can work in the wrong direction for your practice. Putting some time and energy into making sure your practice’s online reputation is a good one is an investment well made.


Last revised: September 10, 2009
by Tannus Quatre PT, MBA

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