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How to Get More Patient Reviews for Your Practice – Six Proven Strategies for 2024

Online reviews have never been more important for patient generation in 2024. The collective voice of patient feedback has the power to significantly impact the perception of a medical practice, influencing the decisions of prospective patients and the broader community. Because of this, understanding and managing the nuances of patient feedback is essential for healthcare providers that want to maintain and enhance their reputation in an increasingly competitive healthcare landscape. Let’s dive in and learn how to get more patient reviews for your practice.

Understanding the Importance of Online Reviews for Doctors

These days, a strong digital presence is vital for any medical practice. And understanding the importance of online reviews is essential to building a strong online presence. Online reviews serve as the strongest signal of a doctor’s credibility. They are often one of the first resources prospective patients turn to when evaluating healthcare providers.

Positive patient testimonials can enhance a doctor’s reputation, fostering patient trust and signaling a commitment to quality care. This trust is a crucial first step in a patient’s healthcare journey, as it not only impacts a patient’s choice of healthcare provider, but also builds the foundation for a relationship and loyalty over time.

But how can physicians get more reviews to bolster their online presence and solidify themselves as the best choice for health care? Let’s look at six tangible strategies to boost patient reviews.

How to Get More Patient Reviews: Six Tangible Strategies

#1: Deliver Outstanding Patient Care

The best way to get more (and better) patient reviews is to deliver outstanding care.

Sadly, many patients have been conditioned to expect poor healthcare experiences these days. The state of our healthcare system and declining reimbursement rates puts physicians in a tough spot. Often times, they’re forced to spend less time with patients and focus on volume to make up for the environment they find themselves in.

This can leave patients feeling misunderstood. In many ways, the bar to deliver exceptional, compassionate care has never been lower.

And yet, patients have never wanted more from healthcare experiences. Everyone wants to feel special, and your patients are no different. Everyone wants a concierge, white glove experience, to feel like they are the most important patient in the world, not just one of a hundred the doctor has to see this morning.

That’s why delivering an exceptional experience – not just exceptional clinical care – is the best way to get more patient reviews…because it stands out. It’s different than what patients have come to expect.

Physicians who focus on clear communication, empathy, and personalized attention to each patient’s needs stand out from the crowd. By creating an environment where patients feel valued and understood, they are more likely to leave positive reviews.

By prioritizing outstanding patient care, healthcare professionals set the stage for a virtuous cycle of positive reviews that can enhance their practice’s reputation and trustworthiness.

#2: Streamlining the Review Process

If you want more reviews for your practice, you have to make it as easy as possible for patients to leave a review and remove any barriers that might deter a patient from doing so.

For instance, providing direct links to review platforms in follow-up emails or texts can significantly simplify the process. Additionally, ensuring that your practice’s website has a clear and easily accessible section for testimonials and feedback can encourage patients to share their experiences. Many practices employ QR codes to popular review platforms in their office or promotional materials so patients can submit their feedback in under 60 seconds.

Some patients may not be familiar with the process of leaving a review, or they may feel that it’s a time-consuming task. Providing step-by-step instructions to guide these patients through the review process can help.

This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Printed cards with instructions handed out at the end of a visit.
  • Follow-up emails with direct links to review sites and a brief explanation of how to leave a review.
  • A dedicated page on the practice’s website with a guide on how to post reviews on popular platforms like Google, Healthgrades, or RateMDs.
  • Short, instructional videos that walk patients through the review process, which can be shared via email or text message.

By making the review process as straightforward as possible, practices not only make it easier for patients to leave feedback but also demonstrate that they value the patient’s time and input.

Learn how to get more patient reviews for your practice and discover six actionable strategies to enhance patient feedback and boost your practice's reputation.
Learn how to get more patient reviews for your practice and discover six actionable strategies to enhance patient feedback and boost your practice’s reputation.

#3: Utilize Review Management Technology

If you’re a larger practice, or simply want to streamline the process of asking for feedback, one of the most effective strategies for enhancing your practice’s reputation is through the use of review management technology. Review management software can significantly streamline the process of gathering patient feedback and can lead to an increase in the number of reviews your practice receives.

The key benefit that review management software offers is automation. With review management software, your staff doesn’t have to walk each and every patient through the process of writing a review for your practice – they can simply use the software to put the patient into an automated follow-up sequence that asks them to leave feedback about their experience.

These tools can be configured to send out review requests after a patient’s visit, either immediately or at a predetermined time that is likely to yield a higher response rate.

Review management software can save your staff a hours of time every week. Plus, by making your review collection approach consistent, it can greatly accelerate the number of reviews you collect.

By utilizing review management technology, your practice can efficiently encourage more patients to leave reviews, which in turn will enhance your online reputation and visibility. Implementing these systems not only saves time but also helps in consistently gathering valuable patient insights that can inform service improvements and boost patient satisfaction.

#4: Educating and Involving Your Team

Patient reviews are not just a reflection of the clinical care provided by the doctor, but also the overall experience with the practice, which includes interactions with the staff. It is crucial to educate your team on the significance of patient reviews and how they contribute to the reputation and success of the practice.

Put simply, every member of your team should see themselves as the one responsible for ensuring your patients have a good experience.

If you look at practices with hundreds (or thousands) of 5-star reviews, you might be surprised at the sheer number of reviews that mention the that mention the care and compassion of a specific staff member – not a doctor – by name.

When your staff internalizes this responsibility for patient experience, your patients will feel it – and you are far more likely to get better reviews as a result.

Training your team on the importance of online reviews should cover:

  • The impact of positive and negative reviews on the practice’s online presence and potential patient trust.
  • How reviews can influence the decision-making process of prospective patients.
  • The role of reviews in enhancing the practice’s local SEO and online visibility.
  • How each team member can contribute to a patient’s positive experience at the practice, regardless of their role

If you want to learn how to get more patient reviews for your practice, you need to create a culture of seeking feedback and continuous improvement. Remember, it’s the responsibility of every member of your team – from your front desk staff to the CEO or practice owner – to ensure that every patient has a terrific experience.

To ensure that every team member is actively involved in generating patient reviews, it’s important to foster a culture that values patient feedback. This involves:

  • Encouraging staff to understand their direct and indirect impact on patient satisfaction.
  • Recognizing and rewarding team members who successfully encourage patients to leave reviews.
  • Regularly discussing the importance of patient feedback during team meetings and as part of ongoing training

#5: Timing Your Review Requests Appropriately: How to Identify the Optimal Moments to Request Reviews from Patients

Understanding when to ask for a review is as important as how you ask for it. The optimal timing of asking for a review can significantly increase the likelihood of receiving positive feedback.

Typically, the best time to request a review is shortly after the patient’s experience while the details are still fresh in their mind. This could be after a successful treatment, a follow-up appointment, or once a positive outcome has been delivered. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the request does not interfere with the patient’s care or recovery process.

There are also mechanisms to ensure that only the most positive reviews make it to your online profiles. For example, you can implement a two-step feedback process: first, patients are asked to rate their experience from 1-5 stars on a page of your website. Any patients that rate their experience 3 stars or below are redirected to a private form asking for feedback on what your practice could do better; patients that rate their experience 4 stars or above are redirected to your profile on Google or Facebook and asked to write a short review.

When soliciting reviews, it’s essential to maintain ethical standards. This means avoiding any form of incentivization for leaving a review, as this can lead to biased feedback and can damage the trustworthiness of your reviews. Most online review platforms, such as Google, do not allow incentivization for reviews (although these policies are hard to enforce).

Instead, focus on making a polite and honest request. Inform patients that their feedback is valuable for both the improvement of your services and for helping other patients make informed decisions. Always respect the patient’s choice to decline the request and ensure that their decision does not affect the quality of care they receive.

#6: Respond to Reviews Professionally

Patient reviews are often the first impression potential patients get of your practice. It’s crucial to acknowledge all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Doing so not only shows that you value patient feedback but also that you are committed to maintaining a high standard of care.

Responding to reviews can also influence your practice’s online reputation and SEO, as active engagement demonstrates to search engines that your practice is responsive and customer-focused.

When responding to reviews, it’s important to keep professionalism at the forefront. Here are some techniques to ensure your responses demonstrate care and professionalism:

  1. Thank the Reviewer: Always start by thanking the patient for taking the time to leave a review. This shows appreciation and sets a positive tone for the rest of the response.
  2. Personalize Your Response: Avoid generic responses. Tailor your reply to address specific comments made by the reviewer. This personal touch can make patients feel heard and valued.
  3. Stay HIPAA Compliant: Be mindful of patient privacy laws such as HIPAA. Do not disclose any personal health information in your responses.
  4. Address Concerns: If the review is negative, acknowledge the patient’s concerns without being defensive. Offer to discuss the matter offline to find a resolution.
  5. Highlight Positives: When responding to positive reviews, reinforce the positive aspects mentioned by the reviewer. This can help to promote the strengths of your practice.
  6. Invite Further Feedback: Encourage reviewers to continue the conversation if they have additional feedback or concerns. This shows a commitment to continuous improvement.
  7. Keep It Professional: Always maintain a professional tone, even if the review is unfairly negative. How you respond says a lot about your practice’s values and customer service.
  8. Respond Promptly: Timely responses show that your practice is attentive and proactive about patient satisfaction.

By using these techniques, you can ensure that your responses to patient reviews are professional, considerate, and reflective of the high-quality care you provide.

Remember, responding to patient reviews is an opportunity to enhance your practice’s reputation and build trust with both current and prospective patients. It’s an integral part of managing your online presence and should be approached with the same care you provide in your practice.

Ready to Grow Your Practice with More Patient Reviews?

The significance of online reviews for doctors cannot be overstated, as they play a pivotal role in shaping a practice’s online reputation and influencing prospective patients’ choices.

By implementing the strategies we’ve outlined here, physicians can substantially increase the quantity and quality of patient reviews. Embracing these methods not only enhances a practice’s online reputation but also bolsters patient confidence, leading to a virtuous cycle of trust and growth.

Need help improving your patient experience and growing your private practice? Contact us today to see how we may be able to help you increase patient volume, grow revenue, and build the practice of your dreams.

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