A newer entry into the world of medical provider review sites is CareDash, which launched a healthcare provider ratings and patient reviews portal in June 2016. A visit to its homepage and you’ll see some common functions that are available on other medical practice review sites. You can search for a provider by geography, specialty, hospital and name. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice some differences.
Many of these differences are born from CareDash’s unusual target market.
Many doctor review sites target high-income patients, those typically bringing in $100,000 or more per year. Why? Those patients are virtually all either carry insurance or can self-pay. Nary a Medicaid patient among them.
In contrast, CareDash CEO and founder Ted Chan says that CareDash is focused on serving low-income people, who often struggle to access health care and to find quality healthcare providers who will see them.
As I review CareDash, some of the ways it stands out from its competitors shows how this 100% patient-centric focus results in these differences.
Filtering Search Results
Like most review sites, you can filter results geographically here. Searchers can select from several geographic parameters, ranging from within a one-mile radius of original geographic search criterion to the entire state.
Searchers can also filter by the provider’s sex, which is on some doctor review sites, but not all. CareDash is also one of the rare doctor review sites where you can filter your results by their star rating.
CareDash uses the standard five-star rating system. Patients can rate providers a single star, on an overall five-star scale.
Your CareDash Profile and Where the Data Comes From
Since CareDash is more focused on what patients have to say about you, rather than what you have to say about yourself, the provider profile is more limited than many other sites.
The basic profile page has place for an image, and provides the basic contact and geographic information. It also includes a short narrative paragraph that may mention your specialty, education and hospital affiliations. The bulk of the center of a profile page is the provider’s overall star rating, presentation of current reviews, and a big form where patients can post their own reviews.
CareDash prides itself on managing the integrity of the reviews it publishes on its site. It doesn’t scrape any review or rating data from other sites. Every review and rating on CareDash comes from its community of consumers and patients.
In addition, every review submitted is read by a CareDash employee before it gets published. This step is in part to verify the submission, but also to make sure it doesn’t violate of the site’s review submission guidelines.
If necessary, CareDash will notify a reviewer that a review won’t be published, to give them a chance to edit the review and resubmit it. However, this shouldn’t be understood to mean that CareDash suppresses negative reviews.
But more on how its review process a bit later.
Back to your other profile content:
You can submit your own profile content, including head shot, but you can’t directly edit your profile. You send your information, which can include content like your philosophy of care statement, personal background about your hobbies and interests, to a CareDash support email. The site will upload it.
If you feel your profile has any factual errors, you can contact CareDash via email to have to rectified.
Your profile isn’t the only content on the page. Since CareDash is all about the patient, searchers will see links to other providers in your same specialty.
The profiles on the right-hand column will share your specialty and be within the searcher’s geographic parameters. The list of profile links at the bottom of the page will be of providers in your specialty, but not necessarily within your geographic area.
The bottom part of your profile page will have a couple links to health and wellness articles that are posted on CareDash’s blog.
Last, there is ad space on the profile, just not for medical providers. Instead, it’s typical online ad content that’s based off the searcher’s overall Internet activity.
Reviewing the Reviews
Alright, reviewing your reviews. (what a tongue twister!)
Since CareDash wants as many comprehensive and transparent reviews as possible, it’s not going to take down negative reviews. As a healthcare provider, you have two ways to address a negative review on the site.
You can respond directly on the site to the review. Responding publicly to a negative review can be valuable, but also dicey. Obviously, you need to protect private and legally confidential information. There’s also a good way and bad way to respond.
Your other option is to contact CareDash and ask them to investigate the review.
The only grounds on which CareDash will remove a review is if they find factual inaccuracies or it violates their submission guidelines. If you feel that’s the case, don’t make CareDash guess what the problem is. Clearly tell them what’s inaccurate or what comments violate which provision of their submission guidelines.
Last, just because you write it doesn’t mean the review will edited or removed. They’ll investigate. Then they’ll act (or not) based on what they find.
CareDash is also adamant and vocal about the fact that it does not allow providers to pay to have negative reviews removed.
Where CareDash Is Going
CareDash recently got $2 million in financing to promote the site and develop a mobile app. According to CareDash, more than 50 percent of its users access the site via mobile device, but it doesn’t yet have an app. The site’s hope is to develop an app that will provide additional functionality to users, such as scheduling appointments with providers.
So should you give CareDash your attention?
Well, it depends on what market you want to serve. Some practices want a certain portion of Medicaid-covered patients. Others may want to attract a certain portion of low income patients as part of a giving-back program.
Regardless of whether CareDash is catering to your market, you can’t go wrong taking control (as much as you can) of your profile. If you’ve already put together your profile content for other sites (check out our ebook on how to do this if you haven’t yet), then sending in the little information CareDash will accept should be easy enough. And yes, don’t forget to send in your picture as well. From there, having your staff member who’s responsible for social media at CareDash to the list of sites to monitor for new reviews is simple.
These are incremental actions that may be well worth taking to bring in another medical practice review site into your portfolio.