Building Trust With Patients Online
Trust is an integral part of any relationship. When it comes to healthcare practitioners and their patients, trust is more central than ever. Building trust with your patients hinges upon creating an exceptional experience and offering dependable service at every stage. Compassion, reliability, and communication are key.
So how can doctors, dental practices, hospitals, and other healthcare providers build trust with patients in today’s digital world? Below are four ways to foster trust with patients online.
#1. Make a Patient’s Record Easily Accessible Online
Change can be difficult. Switching to a system that lets your patients access their records online can take some effort initially. However, this is also a proven way to improve patient satisfaction. In fact, studies have been conducted to prove the effectiveness of online access to patient satisfaction ratings.
In today’s modern world, patients can find themselves frustrated by obstacles preventing them from accessing their medical information. Using secure patient portals shows that your practice cares about their needs. It proves that you value the time of your patients and want to make their experience with you as convenient as possible.
#2. Responsibly Use Review Sites to Respond to Positive and Negative Feedback
Many review sites exist to give prospective leads a chance to investigate a practice before committing to a visit. Business owners often have the opportunity to respond to public reviews. These reviews may be addressed publicly or privately. In some cases, it is best to respond to reviews on Google, Yelp, and other similar sites, in private. Never violate HIPAA laws or disclose information about their visit in public.
Apart from scenarios where HIPAA laws could be violated, it is a good idea to respond to negative and positive reviews in public. This can build trustworthiness with your establishment. Responsibly addressing reviews professionally and compassionately will show that your practice cares about the patients that use your services.
Here are some examples:
Example of a Patient
Comment on Yelp: “I had to wait almost an hour before I was seen by my dentist.”
Poor response: “We apologize that you feel that way, but our wait times are actually faster than other dentists.”
Good response: “Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback! We are forwarding this along to the appropriate team so that we can resolve the issue right away.”
#3. Have Plenty of Useful Content Available Online
Providing useful information on your website is a great way to build trust with current and prospective patients around the clock. Moreover, content on your website serves the dual purpose of improving your search engine optimization. So, make sure to update content on your site regularly.
Blog posts about preventing the common cold, what the procedures at your practice are like in person, and how to more easily recover after certain procedures are some examples of useful site content.
#4: Use Digital Rescources to Communicate Clearly and Consistently
Engaging with your patients is incredibly important to building trust. Follow-up calls, cards in the mail, and pamphlets are helpful. However, there are many digital ways to communicate with your patients effectively as well. Since many people use mobile devices as a primary means of communicating, you should likewise take advantage of this method.
HIPAA-compliant applications and emails can help you build trust and establish rapport with new patients and regular patients alike. Digital messaging features can also help provide patients with the online support that they require 24/7.
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