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Healthcare organizations can take better advantage of customer reviews, study finds

PwC finds 48% of consumers have read healthcare reviews, 24% have written them

NEW YORK — More Americans are looking for reviews and ratings to guide their healthcare decision-making as they spend more of their own money on health care, but they're not finding what they need, according to a new report by PwC.

In the report, "Scoring Healthcare: Navigating Customer Experience Ratings," PwC's Health Research Institute found in a survey that 48% of respondents said they had read healthcare reviews, and among those, 68% said they had used the information to select a doctor, hospital or — to a lesser extent — pharmacy, drug, medical device or health plan, but only 24% had written a review.

"Healthcare organizations are increasingly operating in a world in which the voice of the consumer impacts the bottom line and where customer experience is now a matter of dollars and cents," PwC U.S. health industries leader Kelly Barnes said. "As consumerism in health care gains steam, customer feedback has become a determining factor in the success of health organizations. Ratings connect consumers' experience to quality, and quality connects to financial performance, market share and reputation."

Still, the report did not find the level of consumer engagement and participation in health care that's seen in entertainment and retail. Instead of a single, trusted, independent rating system, consumers are turning to Facebook, Yelp and Consumer Reports. At the same time, retailers and other consumer-focused industries are starting to apply their expertise to market health-related products and services more effectively, the report found.

"Consumers are looking for easy-to-understand information from sources they can trust," Barnes said. "They care most about the physician-patient relationship, what to do after a hospital visit and how to obtain smooth service from their health plan."

 

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