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    Best Practice: Responding to Online Reviews

    Over 80% of patients turn to Google when looking for a new healthcare provider. SurveyVitals’ online reputation tools have helped boost client Google reviews by 281%. While increasing your number of online reviews is essential for attracting new patients, it’s equally important to respond to these reviews appropriately.
     
    Patients are certainly reading online reviews, but they’re also likely to be reading your responses to them. Eighty-nine percent of consumers read business responses to online reviews. Not only do these responses build trust with your current and prospective patients, but they have the potential to negate damage to your online reputation and prevent missed opportunities for patient growth.
     
    When responding to online reviews, it’s important to address the patient’s concern while also being mindful of HIPAA. Simply acknowledging that the reviewer is a patient of your practice can be a violation of HIPAA; the patient’s review is not authorization for you to release any of their protected health information.
     
    The wrong response to a patient review can have negative consequences. Here are some common mistakes and best practices to consider when responding to online reviews for your practice.

    What to avoid in responses to online reviews

    1. Take caution not to acknowledge that the reviewer is a patient. Even a statement such as, “We’re sorry you experienced a long wait to check in for your appointment” confirms the reviewer was seen at your practice.
    2. Don’t repeat any information given in the review. If the reviewer states their treatment for a certain condition was ineffective, don’t discuss that condition or treatment by name.
    3. Avoid getting defensive. You may disagree with the review, but prospective patients may shy away from your practice if your responses are defensive or argumentative.

    Best practices for responding to online reviews

    1. Thank the reviewer. A simple “Thank you for taking the time to leave a review” is appropriate. Be cautious not to thank them for their feedback about their visit, as this would be confirming their status as a patient.
    2. Keep it brief. Use generic terminology and keep your response short and simple.
    3. Use response templates. Create generic, canned responses that include a simple “thank you” and contact information. For example, a canned response for a negative review might be: Thank you for leaving a review. Please contact our [Position Title] at [Phone or Email] so we can learn more.

    SurveyVitals can help you grow your online reputation. Schedule a demo to learn more.

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    March 9th, 2021 Categories: Anesthesia, outpatient, Reputation Management, Best Practices, featured, patient experience