Have you been Googling for real patient reviews on websites likep Yelp, Real Self, Real Patient Ratings, and feel uncertain of their validity? I have to admit.pI thought it could just be too easy to fake. I was skeptical of these reviews and wondered how legitimate the websites really were.
Then, we started hearing more and more of our patients saying that they were finding reviews about our doctors on these sites. It became evident that our patients were seeking places to talk about their experience and were writing their review – completely unsolicited. This was the catalyst that had me start researching review websites’ policies and practices. My single most important question I wanted answered: did their website have a program in place to screen for those who try to “trick the system.” The answers were generally yes … and no.
Here was my favorite response found on Yelp’s blog about their filter.
“Is it a perfect system? No. Building a scalable, automated method to identify spurious reviews and protect the integrity of website content that includes more than 7 million reviews is difficult. Does legitimate review content sometimes get lost as a result? Yes. Our filter takes a conservative approach and errs on the side of protecting the consumer, when necessary.”p
I’m ok with that.
So what did Yelp do with the filtered reviews? They put them inside a little-bitty, light-gray, hard-to-see, lonely link (circled in red with an arrow pointing at it in the picture above). Next time you are on a Yelp page (likepRenaissance’s) be sure to click on the (# Filtered) button found under the visible reviews to see all the comments.
On Real Patient Ratings, reviews come directly from plastic surgeons’ database of patients. They have teamed up with physicians across 36 states to provide,
“Verified ratings and reviews only from real patients.”
Wow, that is great! Of course, you need to be searching for reviews on plastic surgeons, otherwise you won’t find relevant reviews … and, I may just be going on a crazy hunch here, but I bet that’s exactly what you are looking for!
Real Self is somewhat similar to Real Patient Ratings in the sense that real patients of plastic surgeons are writing about their experiences. The significant difference between the two websites, Real Patient Ratings emails a survey directly to the patients, while Real Self is like a journal, and completely on the patient’s own fruition.p
Another little snippet of review information: Google recently changed around their reviewing systems as they incorporatepGoogle+. Now you can find Google+ pages for businesses and Google+ Local, or local listings, which combine business reviews in an upgraded version of the old Place pages. They are always streamlining for those of us surfing the web and working to provide us with the most validity. I’m ok with that. (though I will be more ok when our patients’ reviews on Google Placespbecome linked to our Google+ Local… but I digress…)p
It’s all good. The reviews are there. You know where to find them now. And you have a great reason to trust them.
One more note: Thank you! Thank you, to all our wonderful patients who have taken their time to write reviews. From note-sized to a small novel, every review helps someone searching for their connection with a plastic surgeon. Thank you for helping others. It’s a beautiful thing.