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Improving Your Healthcare Online Rating

Improving Your Healthcare Online Rating

In the medical field, online reviews are a double-edged sword. On one hand, reviews are a necessity: 84 percent of potential patrons check online reviews first before choosing a physician.

On the other hand, bad reviews can destroy your reputation. In the medical field bad reviews are like a virus: impossible to kill. Sites such as Yelp and Google reviews won’t take down a review even if the information is exaggerated or simply inaccurate, and doctors have trouble responding in fear of violating confidentiality laws.

The Impact of Reviews in the Healthcare Industry

Carolyn Murray, owner of a medical weight-loss clinic called Physicians Weight Loss Centers, informed the Washington Post about a prospective patient who wanted to cancel her appointment after seeing a negative review about the clinic on Yelp.

The review was left by an unhappy patient who had missed several appointments without canceling and wanted her visiting fee back, even though the cancellation policy stated she would forfeit it.

Murray’s story is sadly all too common in the medical profession. One bad review can deter new business, and in the healthcare field, 34.7 percent of patients are likely to post a review after a negative experience. Often these experiences are left up for interpretation, but unlike the restaurant or hotel business, medical professionals can’t respond with their side of the story for fear of digging themselves into a greater hole.

Take one Washington state dentist for example, who responded to an angry review from a patient who blamed him for the loss of a molar: “Due to your clenching and grinding habit, this is not the first molar tooth you have lost due to a fractured root…This tooth is no different,” he wrote.

While in another field this response would be fair, in the medical field he runs the risk of violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which forbids disclosing any patient health information without permission.

How to Combat Bad Reviews

So, there’s a misunderstanding and a patient leaves a negative review. You can’t respond to the comment without leaving a vague message or breaking HIPPA laws, so you’re left wondering, “What are my options?”

The most effective option is to contact the reviewer directly. If you notice a negative review, the faster you contact the patient, the faster the review goes down. At Real Time Reviews you get a text notification the second a customer reviews your business, so you can directly talk over the problem and work out a solution.

The next step in improving your rating is authentically increasing the amount of reviews on your site. Don’t attempt to buy reviews, as Yelp has several technologies in place to detect and pull down fake reviews. The easiest way to earn more reviews is through a fast, simple and cost effective system like Real Time Reviews.

At Real Time Reviews, you simply ask your customers to put in their information in the Real Time Reviews app and they immediately receive a text asking to rate your business. In a few simple steps their rating will immediately appear on Google or Facebook reviews. If there are any issues you have the patient’s information and can help talk through their experience.

Real Time Reviews helps make earning genuine and positive reviews a simpler process for your health care profession. Contact us to learn how we can help your online rating.

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