February 24, 2021 | Doug Cundiff, MPT, MPH

3 Minute Read

What High Patient Engagement Means for Reputation Management

Net Health's VP ReDoc 360 professional services, Doug Cundiff talks patient engagement and reputation management.

Patient engagement can drive the success of a rehab therapy business in more ways than one. Research has shown that highly engaged patients can lead to better functional outcomes as well as positive care experiences. Now, these same benefits can be applied to bolster a practice’s online reputation.

Download E-Book: How High Patient Engagement Drives Your Rehab Therapy Business

With the move to value-based care and MIPS, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, patient engagement and care experiences have taken on a new light. And with internet review sites, such as Yelp and Healthgrades, evoking a growing influence on healthcare providers’ ability to attract patients, engagement is a unique selling point for practices actively involving patients in treatment. 

Consider how high patient engagement can drive positive reputation management.

Engaged Patients Lead to Better Overall Outcomes

Patients who become actively engaged in their healthcare are two or more times as likely as those with low engagement levels to know about treatment guidelines for their condition and seek out additional health information, including comparing the quality of their healthcare provider to others in the area.¹ Engaged patients are also two or more times as likely to prepare questions for a visit with their physician or therapist, indicating a personal investment in their recovery.²

Physical therapy room

@jdnjd83 via Twenty20

With these factors in mind, it’s no surprise that highly engaged patients have also been shown to be associated with better health outcomes. Several studies have reported that patients with higher engagement scores are more likely to have biometrics in the normal range,³ including:

  • Body mass index
  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol 

In other words, engaged patients make for informed patients who have a greater chance of a happy, healthy recovery. Let’s dive into what that means for positive practice reviews.

Free E-Book: How Patient Engagement Drives Your Rehab Therapy Business

Positive Experiences Lead to Positive Reviews

From higher-quality interpersonal exchanges to more out-of-office contact with physicians, several factors are associated with higher patient engagement. And the good news is, more highly engaged patients consistently report more positive care experiences. These positive care experiences can translate to positive online reviews. 

While there is no hard and fast rule for how patients choose to leave online healthcare reviews, the combined majority do so regularly, with 65% of patients reporting using online review sites “often” or “sometimes.” Of the patients who report leaving online reviews, a combined 72% of patients said they leave “very” or “somewhat positive” feedback when reviewing healthcare providers. With these odds in mind, one could assume engaged patients with positive care experiences could drive an increase in positive online reviews. 

Positive Reviews Lead to a Better Online Reputation (And More)

Positive reviews fuel a positive online reputation—something that’s become massively important in recent years. Being that 71% of patients use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor, your online reputation is often the first impression you make on potential patients. 

When potential patients are skimming online healthcare reviews:

  • 75% are looking for patient rating scores
  • 67% are looking for quality of care provided
  • 53% are looking for patient experience 

Not only can patient engagement drive reviews, but chances are, the reviews will mention one of these three key elements. Why is this important? A whopping 80% of consumers have used the internet to make a healthcare-related search in the past year, and 60% have chosen one provider over another based on a positive online reputation. 

Even more, a positive review history could bring out-of-network patients to your practice, as nearly half of patients would go out of their insurance network for a provider with favorable reviews. Rehab therapy businesses can leverage their online reputation to grow their patient base and increase physician referrals.

A Boost in Patient Engagement is a Boost for Reputation Management 

The more involved you can get your patients the better—both for your patients and for your online reputation. Curious about what else patient engagement can elevate in your business?

Download our free ebook, How Patient Engagement Drives Your Business today.

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1-4Health Affairs, “What The Evidence Shows About Patient Activation: Better Health Outcomes And Care Experiences; Fewer Data On Costs,” February 2013.

5-9Software Advice, “How Patients Use Online Reviews,” April 2020.

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