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A common question we receive when talking with clients and prospects about online review sites is whether or not it is appropriate to request that patients share their experience online. Our answer at MindStream Creative is absolutely! If you are providing high quality care to your patients, you must get the word out. There is no better way to do this than from the mouths (and fingers) of your patients.

Compare a doctor with 0 reviews versus a doctor with 20 reviews. You will see that patients are more apt to go to the provider with a history they can read about than one without one. Patient review strategies should be built into your medical marketing plan.

Don’t Fear the Negative

There is an overall fear from many medical providers of negative reviews being posted. While the potential for them is certainly there, the chance of receiving negative posts from patients is less than one percent for the majority of providers out there.

Ask Everyone

Some providers are concerned that by asking patients to write a review they are inherently “pushing” them to write a positive one. This is a valid concern and it can be overcome by simply not asking just “happy” patients to review you. Ask all patients to review you. Your patients should feel they can share their experience, good or bad. Make it a part of the check-out process. Create a card that directs patients to share their experience on a site such as your Google+ page.

Respond to Reviews

Some review sites allow providers a place to respond to comments made. This gives the practice the opportunity to thank the people who share their experience and also provides a chance to publicly address any negative comments. If you are open to suggestions and comments made by patients, getting feedback is essential. It is easy to consider having a negative post deleted, but it doesn’t address the fundamental problem that a patient had with your practice.

Turn a Negative into a Positive

Of the negative reviews posted in healthcare, a common one is the wait time being too long. Emergencies happen and cannot be avoided, but if your practice is chronically late, look into how you can remodel your schedule to avoid this going forward. Then go online and thank the patient who shared that valuable feedback. Let them know that you are working on a solution so this is not a problem in the future. You can turn any negative review into a positive one by how you respond to it.

Remember that patients are more likely to choose a provider with a history they can read about on an unbiased site over a provider who doesn’t have one. So go out there and ask each and every patient to share their experience on your site and watch the reviews pile up. If you make a concerted effort to gain reviews from patients, you will find your practice growing overtime. If you need assistance developing a strategy for gaining reviews, give us a call today.