At GoTherex, Patient Reviews are a core component of our service to patients and providers. We feel that Patient Reviews have multiple benefits for both parties. In this article, we will explain our research into why Patient Reviews improve healthcare.
We have taken the opportunity to speak with over one hundred patients personally asking them about their healthcare experience and more specifically their thoughts on telehealth, physical therapy, and choosing a provider. Without a doubt, the single most important factor in choosing a healthcare provider is trust. Patients want a clinician that they can trust to have their best interests in mind when treating them. As patients, our most trusted source for a referral to a new healthcare practitioner is word-of-mouth from friends and family. We trust our friends and family and know they would only refer us to someone that they trust and that they believe we should trust. But what if our friends and family don’t have a referral for us? In our research into telehealth and online physical therapy, less than 10% of respondents had experience with telehealth physical therapy. If you are looking for a telehealth physical therapy referral from a friend or family, you will likely be unable to find one as your friends and family have likely never been cared for in this way. Many times, we are in situations that make receiving a word-of-mouth referral for physical therapy at all difficult to obtain. You may have relocated recently or changed health insurance companies. In either case, you want to have some time of trusted source in which to find your health care provider when your friends and family don’t have anyone, they can refer you to.
This is the key value proposition of Patient Reviews. When your family and friends can’t give their opinions, the next best thing is the opinions of the general public. Especially when you can look to see if there is a consensus in the quality of care, strengths, and weaknesses of a provider. When buying a new television or car, you want to know what other people who have owned that television or driven that car think about it. In the same way, you want to know what current and former patients think about each clinician you are considering. Patient Reviews are the best resource for predicting your future experience with this specific physical therapist and enable you to have a greater amount of trust in their expertise and ability to create real change in your life.
In addition, Patient Reviews have other indirect benefits to patients. First, patients are empowered to take a greater role in their care by choosing their provider directly and then giving that provider direct feedback that will affect future episodes of care. Also, patients benefit from provider growth through feedback. Patient feedback directly addresses one of the three pillars of evidence-based care, which is ensuring the care given to a patient is the care the patient desires. Providers grow in their understanding of how to ensure that the patient’s goals are well incorporated into the treatment plan. Patient Reviews help to guide practitioners to ensure they are not only rehabilitating their patients but also doing so in a way that abides by the patient’s convictions and reaches not just the goals set by an insurance, legislative, or a business entity. Lastly, Patient Reviews help to guide better outcomes. Patient buy-in is key to outstanding clinical outcomes. When patient-specific goals are the focus of care, the patient is more likely to buy-in and thus participate more fully in their rehabilitative care. If I was injured cycling through the foothills, I want to set goals that get me back cycling in the foothills and I will work harder to get there. As a patient, I want goals that fit my life whether that is sedentary or extremely active. Patient Reviews are my chance to give feedback on whether my healthcare practitioner worked towards my goals as well as the necessary institutional benchmarks that they must reach.