“You need surgery” may be the scariest thing we tell our patients. In 2014, 14 million Americans were diagnosed with knee arthritis. Roughly 7 million of these patients were eligible for a knee replacement, yet only 700,000 had a knee replacement. Why do only 10% of eligible patients have a knee replacement? Patients are paralyzed by the fear of having surgery, of making a mistake, of selecting the wrong surgeon, hospital or implant. When a patient can’t find someone they trust to convince them that a knee replacement is their best option, they do nothing, which explains the prevalence of mediocre knee injections for arthritis.
An orthopedic surgeon’s reputation is their most important asset. It is what makes patients and PCPs ask for your services by name. A good reputation means patients sign up for surgery the first time their surgeon says, “you need surgery”. A bad reputation means you leave town and start over somewhere else. Your reputation is determined by what PCPs say about you behind your back to their patients. It is what patients say about you to their friends. It is a compilation of your bedside manner, personality, decision making, communication, surgical skills, and outcomes. Your reputation is what makes patients comfortable with having you as their surgeon.
Why do orthopedic surgeons not take ownership of their reputation? Why do we rely on chance encounters between a potential patient and one of your past patients? Many of your past patients are so appreciative of your services that they are willing to tell their friends about you if someone would just ask them.
Enter Reviews from Friends. We are a free service on orthopedic surgeons’, hospitals’, and implant companies’ websites that allows potential patients to anonymously chat with all of your past patients. We protect everyone’s privacy by never revealing anyone’s name. Everything from our list of patients to the chat messages are anonymous which allows us to tell connect people with their friends using Facebook, Google contacts, and home addresses. We take the fear out of having surgery by connecting potential patients with your past patient that is best suited to offer trusted advice.
Give your patients what they need to feel comfortable with the surgery. Let them talk with your past patients.