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EVESHAM – A prestigious awards program has recognized Virtua Health for its outstanding online interactions with consumers. The South Jersey health system earned the highest-level rating – the “800 Award” – for 72 of its online listings, representing its hospitals, medical practices, and individual medical providers.
The awards, which honor organizations in several industries, “set the gold standard for what it means to be customer-centric,” according to Reputation, a California-based firm that produces the rankings.
“Consumers are increasingly turning to online ratings and reviews to help guide their health care choices,” says Chrisie Scott, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Virtua Health. “The doctors and facilities they choose represent important acts of trust. We strive to have listings that are easy to find, with vital information and credible reviews from people who have experienced the care so that others can make informed choices.”
Award recipient Gaurav Sharma, MD, has seen the effects in his own medical practice.
“More and more often, my patients discover me through online listings and reviews,” said the bariatric surgeon – Virtua’s first individual clinician recognized with an 800 Award.
Criteria for Recognition
Three years ago, Reputation established an algorithm that evaluates online listings based on a 1,000-point scale. A listing that is rated 700 or more is considered high-performing. Therefore, listings that have a reputation score of 800 points or more are particularly exceptional. Health care is one of nine categories for the 800 Awards – others include restaurants, real estate, and retail – and winners are selected across the U.S. and European Union.
Reputation assigns scores based on three key factors: visibility, engagement, and sentiment. These categories include such measures as number of people who view listings, number of reviews, and consumer ratings and experiences expressed in reviews.
“Today’s health care consumers have platforms for widely sharing their experiences. And most people consult online reviews before seeking care,” Scott said. “We embrace this forum for feedback at Virtua Health. We encourage reviews, respond to comments, and share consumer feedback with our clinical and operational teams. Understanding the wants and needs of those you serve is key for delivering a personalized, outstanding experience.”
Strong Showing for Virtua Health
The largest health system in southern New Jersey, Virtua achieved a sizeable increase over the previous year’s rankings. It jumped from 46 listings with scores of 800 or more in 2022, to 72 listings reaching that level in 2023. Virtua maintains several hundred listings in total.
Virtua’s outpatient labs performed particularly well, with 17 listings earning the 800 Award. Other high-achieving groups include Virtua’s physical therapy locations (11 winners), affiliated outpatient surgery centers (9 winners), and cardiology practices (5 winners).
Dr. Sharma, recognized for his individual listing, earned a reputation score of 816. This achievement is reflected in the 20 five-star reviews associated with his Google listing and 40 five-star ratings on the website Healthgrades.
One Google reviewer wrote: “Dr. Sharma is an excellent surgeon. His bedside manner is top notch! He listens to his patients and provides guidance.” Another stated: “From the day I met Dr. Sharma, I knew he would be my surgeon. He’s very informative, patient and understanding to all of your concerns and questions.”
“At the start of my career, many of my patients first heard about me through a family member or friend,” Dr. Sharma said. “Now, it is increasingly common to meet with a patient whose knowledge is based on what he or she read online. That speaks to why it’s so important to view your digital footprint as the potential starting point of an ongoing care relationship.”
To read more about the 800 Awards and see the full list of winning listings, click here.
For more information about Virtua Health or to find a Virtua doctor, visit Virtua.org or call 888-VIRTUA-3.
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