Operating at an Ambulatory Surgery Center Improves Surgeon Reviews Online and It Matters
If you were headed to surgery today, how would you pick your surgeon? You may simply request the surgeon referred by your physician. You may ask friends or family who have had a similar procedure performed. Or perhaps you fall into the 59% of patients that a 2012 JAMA study found considered physician review or rating websites as “very important” or “somewhat important."1
The study found that, 35% of patients that visited physician review sites selected a physician based on good ratings and that 37% avoided a physician because of bad ratings. A more recent study by Software Advice found that 84% of patients use online physician reviews when selecting their physician and that 47% of patients would select an out-of-network physician over an in-network physician because they had better reviews online.2 For surgeons, this can create a dilemma because the factors that go into a patient’s review are not entirely in their control. For example, in a hospital setting your patient’s surgery may get postponed because your staff or operating room had to be used for an emergency procedure. Your patient, understandably frustrated about the surgery being moved, is more likely to leave a negative review despite your amiable bedside manner and excellent quality of care. This may seem like a stretch until you begin reading comments on sites such as Healthgrades or Yelp, the two of the most common physician review websites, or even ZocDoc, a site that emphasizes wait time by making it a separate category under physician-specific reviews (see below).3
Performing your outpatient surgeries in an Ambulatory Surgery Center addresses factors that would generally be out of your control, thereby improving your online reviews.4 Since the facilities are used only for single-day surgeries and have low complication rates, your patients are much less likely to encounter scheduling or waiting problems. It is also more convenient and cost-effective for you: the staff and equipment you request are provided, operating rooms are often available on weekends, and you don’t pay extra overhead costs that are associated with large facilities. You can share these time and financial benefits with your patients, ensuring a positive holistic experience for both of you and securing future business for you through more positive ratings.