Friday 27 June 2014

Dialogue™ for the medical profession

More than ever before the medical and caring professions have to address the concept of reviews

First let's examine the current state of the reviews and the medical profession...

Specialist sites

If a business or service exists you can be sure that there will be review sites specifically targeting it, it's the nature of the web. Here are some examples:

From NHS Choices
From IWantGreatCare

General sites

A 'general' review site is one where anyone can comment on any type of business or service, from accountants to zoos. here's an example of a review on Yelp, the big daddy of them all...

Yelpers don't pull their punches!


Everyone wants reviews: patients commonly search the web for them; they want to know what the existing patients of a given practice or practitioner think. In today's competitive environment practitioners welcome honest feedback as a way of attracting new patients, and, just as importantly, a way of gaining valuable insight.


Not all reviews are written with the best of intentions: some are written maliciously (some have even been known to be posted by competitors)! Much more commonly, misguided (and potentially damaging) opinions are posted about complex medical issues without the practitioner being able to engage with the patient beforehand.

Is this really representative of the practice?


With reviews of hotels or restaurants the simple 'right-of-reply' which is incorporated into most review sites may be all that is needed to correct misconceptions. This is not enough for medical issues: they are far too important, for the patient in question and for the potential patient reading the review. There has to be a better way...

There is. All reviews at HelpHound are moderated (read by trained professional moderators) in a process we call Resolution ™, and any reviews that contain issues which should be addressed by the practitioner are first forwarded to that practitioner for response. 

People actively engage with this process and both parties find it rewarding, to the extent that over 99% of reviews that are written and subject to Resolution result in no final review being published. 


It's every medical practitioner's nightmare - more paperwork, more complex technology. How to keep track of the 47 sites where a patient might comment? The answer is simple: you don't have to. 

Invite all your patients to write a simple review, direct to your practice, once a year and/or whenever they feel the need...

What your patients' reviews will look like on your website - a mock-up with thanks to Abingdon Medical Practice

HelpHound will moderate them and we will publish them on your own website; we will also invite your patients to post their reviews to Google so you don't look like these GPs when future patients search:

Your prospective patients are looking for reviews - here (on Google) and on your own website, but only one patient has posted one review on one of these practices. What a lost opportunity to benefit for everyone concerned, practice and patients alike

To summarise

Dialogue brings you and your patients all the benefits of reviews and none of the drawbacks: it can only be good for you both.

  • Great feedback, easily analysed 
  • Positive comments to show to prospective patients
  • Negative issues managed in private, benefiting both parties equally

Please contact Karen Hutchings (karen.hutchings@helphound) for more details.

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