Patients can review your facility and providers on a myriad of sites including Facebook, Yelp, Google, and many, many more. Be a part of the conversation rather than just the topic of conversation. First, claim and update profiles. Then, solicit reviews and respond to reviews.
Claim and Update Profiles
You have profiles…whether you want them or not. Find, claim, and update. Some of the most important are Google, Facebook, Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, WebMD, RateMDs, and even the hospitals where your physicians work. Bing, Doctor, Doximity, and UCompareHealthCare are probably our next most used review sites. We also typically update anything that shows up on the first five pages of a Google search.
Be sure your NPI (National Provider Identifier) information is updated with CMS. This auto-populates into a lot of websites.
You’ll need to have the following things handy when you start claiming: driver’s license, SOS (Secretary of State) filing, last four digits of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) number, and piece of mail with physician name and address.
Establish an email that is designated for profiles, particularly for multi-doctor practices. You can usually only use one email per site. Some won’t allow a gmail account.
Add pictures, website links, and be exhaustive with information about the services provided in the practice. List interests, clinical specialties, etc. as they will help patients find your office. Also, be sure to list any languages, besides English, that are spoken in the office. Include information about the physician’s training for websites that allow it. A short bio is also very useful. And, pictures are highly recommended.
The best defense against negative reviews is a good offense. If you have lots of good reviews, a few bad reviews only makes your reviews look realistic. Inviting patients to give feedback can be done through different avenues, and realistically, several methods of communication with a patient will likely yield a response. Invitations should be separate from billing communications.
An email with an online link to a review site (general online or customized to practice) should be sent to every patient, varying which review website you list in email based on where you need reviews and which sites allow it.
A sign in the office or waiting room that asks patients to contact the practice administrator with compliments and complaints is another method. This may solicit more negative feedback but getting that feedback where it’s contained in office and not on the internet for all to see is beneficial to the practice. In addition, a sign with online review information can be displayed in the office lobby. The sign can be very similar to the printed card.
Printed card for online reviews
This could be handed out with the office staff’s verbal ask or done alone. This info can also appear on your patient forms.
“Thank you for choosing our practice. We hope you had a great experience with us. If there is anything we can do to improve your experience, please contact me personally. I want to know so that I can fix it! If there isn’t anything we can improve on, please tell the world using the links below.” Then, offer the links, contact person, and phone number. Some sites don’t allow for solicitation of reviews, so be sure to check the terms of service. For those sites, consider just asking patients to check out your reviews on those sites.
Signature line in emails
How many emails do you send in a day? Every one of those is an opportunity to gently lead people to sites where they can review your practice.
Including links to online review websites on the practice’s social media is another way to invite patient feedback. Social media is a great resource for patient reviews and testimonials.
A short text with a link to a website where a review can be given is very easy to send. However, a patient should be asked for permission to receive text communication from the office. And, be sure to only do this with review sites that allow solicitations.
Patients are more likely to give feedback if asked by your office staff at the end of their visit. The office staff can verbally ask patients to leave a review when the patient checks out. They can also give the patient a small, simple card with info about how to leave a review online so the patient can take it with them.
A note on your website requesting patients to contact the practice administrator with compliments and complaints is another feedback method. This can be done through a “Contact Us” tab on the website that sends an email directly to the practice administrator. The website can also include links to online review sites.
Responding to Reviews
We only recommend a response to reviews that are recent…last three months or so. Develop scripted responses for positive, neutral, and negative reviews. We use an ever-growing list of about 20 varied responses for this.
Don’t be defensive. Thank the reviewer for providing the information. Don’t discuss their issue publicly. Contact them directly or invite them to contact you at your direct phone number or email.
Most importantly, take the feedback seriously. You won’t make everyone happy. But, look at these reviewers as unpaid consultants or secret shoppers. These patients are likely sharing things that have also happened to other patients. If you see a trend of complaints on billing issues, wait times, or other areas, RESOLVE THEM.
If you have questions or need help with any of this, feel free to reach out to us! We love helping with reputation management. We can do it full service, something in between, and are even willing to teach your staff how to do it. And, we can also help with resolving those issues. We love secret shopping and training staff.