Online reputation management for doctors can be a tremendous task, given the many factors involved in providing quality patient care. Doctors are extremely busy individuals and as much as they want to improve their reputation online, they simply do not have the time.
In addition to lack of time, doctors face highly stressful scenarios that involve delivering bad news to patients who have serious or even fatal illnesses and to their families. While doctors need to be direct with their information and advice, they also need to be considerate of the patient’s emotions. No matter how a doctor handles this situation, it’s likely to have an impact on what patients write when asked for a doctor review.
In a 2018 report, RevLocal revealed that it takes one to six positive online reviews for a prospective patient to come up with an opinion on a doctor’s practice. In another 2020 survey, Software Advice confirms that 71 percent of patients read online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor.
From these facts, it is evident that having a healthcare reputation management system is crucial to the growth and success of your practice. Fortunately, healthcare reputation management does not have to be time-consuming nor complicated.
Here are 10 actionable methods for doctor reputation management and increasing positive reviews
1. Discover Your Patient’s Pain Points
Before learning about disappointed patients from their Yelp or Google reviews, you have the opportunity to ask them directly what they feel you can improve in your bedside manner or practice. Send customer surveys to your regular and your new patients to find out what they liked or disliked about their experience with you.
Once you learn about your patient’s concerns, you have the advantage of fixing issues even before anyone can write about them online.
2. Continually Improve Your Practice
Customer service has a positive impact on healthcare reputation management. Most practices spend a lot on reputation management for doctors simply because of negative aspects of their service that greatly affect patient experience, resulting in negative reviews for doctors.
From training office staff, upgrading interactive voice response (IVR systems), decreasing wait times and optimizing payment processing, taking steps to improve all aspects of your service can create the optimal patient experience that is more likely to improve your doctor reviews online.
3. Respond Publicly To Every Review
In the survey by Software Advice (mentioned earlier), 60 percent of respondents feel that it’s important for healthcare providers to answer negative doctor reviews online. It shows that doctors care about their patient’s concerns and take the time to address them. Potential patients will also be able to read these responses and can overlook the negative reviews for doctors in favor of how it was handled.
If responding to reviews becomes a burden in your busy day, you can hire a review response service to help you save time.
Here are some tips for responding to negative doctor reviews online:
• Respond within 24-48 hours. People expect a fast response to their concerns otherwise they feel that a delay means that the response is not sincere.
• Abide by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 laws. The HIPAA protects patient privacy and sensitive health information. Do not mention patient names or their medical conditions in your responses.
• Remain professional. Always acknowledge the patient’s concern and offer a solution or a way to contact you to further discuss the matter offline (phone number or email works fine).
4. Monitor Your Online Reputation
There are many review sites like Yelp and Google and medical review sites like Healthgrade, Vitals and WebMD where your patients can share their reviews for doctors. You need to have an online reputation management system to monitor what is being said about you on multiple review channels.
An online reputation management software like Rize Reviews can help you track, monitor and respond to all reviews within a single application. This is key to implement an effective doctor online reputation management strategy that ensures great results.
5. Leverage Your Website And Social Media
Make good use of your website and social media profiles to publish positive information about your services. Display your best patient reviews on your website using a review widget to attract potential patients and instantly gain their trust.
Start a blog and educate your audience on health issues that you specialize in. Regularly post useful advice on social media to attract prospects while boosting your practice’s online visibility. Engage prospective clients by providing expert and practical advice on treating medical conditions of your specialty.
6. Focus On Getting More Positive Reviews
As long as you follow HIPAA regulations, you can ask your patients for reviews. Ideally, you should have a review generation system to streamline the process. Email and SMS are the most common methods of asking patients for reviews.
The goal is to have more positive reviews than negative ones to increase your overall review ratings.
7. Claim Your Practice On Google My Business
It would be beneficial for you to register your practice on Google My Business for several reasons:
• People can see your phone number, address, business hours and directions all in one link.
• You can increase your practice’s visibility on Google search and Google Maps.
• You can respond directly to patient reviews.
• Add a link in your profile for patients to conveniently schedule an appointment with you.
Claiming your practice on Google My Business gives you more control and helps you with your doctor reputation management tasks. It also gives your audience every information they need to contact you and book appointments.
8. Hire A Healthcare Reputation Management Agency
This step may require a significant amount of investment, but with valuable benefits. Hiring a third-party online reputation management service will help you save time and money while getting the best possible results.
With an online reputation management service, you have the resources and tools available to implement advanced physician reputation management strategies that are tested and proven to work well in the healthcare industry.
9. Build Your Own Reputation Management System
If hiring a physician reputation management firm is not an option, you can create your own system. Determine your goal and lay out a plan to reach this goal. For instance, your goal might be to acquire 50 positive reviews in the next three months. Work towards this goal and explore different methods of online reputation management for doctors, pick one method and implement.
10. Always Put Your Patients First
Negative doctor reviews can be frustrating at times, but it does not mean that you can ignore them or pretend they won’t affect your practice. Patients expect doctors to care about their wellbeing, which should include how they are treated during a consultation or medical procedure. As a healthcare provider, you should go out of your way to ensure that your patients are satisfied with their care and that you work hard to provide that to them. When you sincerely treat your patients well, you don’t have to work too hard on doctor online reputation management.
Doctor online reputation management can be challenging, but the benefits outweigh the cost. A Harvard Business Review report says that a 1-star increase in Yelp review ratings increases revenue by five to nine percent. In an industry where there are many challenges, taking care of your reputation should be your top priority.
Ready to implement an effective physician reputation management strategy that grows your practice but don’t want to do all the work? Hire Rize Reviews to handle all aspects of online reputation management for doctors from generating more reviews, review monitoring and reputation repair. Rize delivers all-in-one solutions that boosts your online reputation without breaking the bank.
Call Rize now to get a free trial.