There is no more powerful marketing tool than word-of-mouth advertising. This is because we typically trust our colleagues, friends and families to give us reliable advice about their experiences. Patient reviews are similar in the way they portray real experiences patients had in your practice and are universally trusted by potential patients when they’re searching for a new doctor’s office. Since positive and negative reviews can impact your practice’s reputation, it’s important to encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews. So, how exactly can you get more patient reviews, and use them to your advantage? Simple: Ask your patients!
It’s Okay to Ask
Although it may feel uncomfortable at first asking patients for reviews, writing them is very common, and most patients will leave a review if they’re asked. There are a lot of ways you can approach the topic that will not feel uncomfortable for the patient, like:
- Sending follow-up emails with a short survey or questionnaire.
- Including links to your practice profile on various platforms like Healthgrades, Yelp, Google etc. in email communications or on appointment cards.
- Sending postcards to patients after appointments asking for reviews.
- Asking patients while they’re checking out about their experience, and if it’s positive follow up with a request to leave a review. (If a patient seems rushed, uncomfortable or upset, your staff should not ask them to leave a review.)
In all of your communications with your patients, ensure that you’re remaining HIPAA compliant and you get permission to use specific methods of communication with each client.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Typically, we associate customer service with retail businesses, but it applies to doctor’s offices too! Patients will be more inclined to leave a positive review if they have a great experience every time they contact or visit your practice. So, customer service should be a central value of your practice, not just for doctors and nurses, but for receptionists and other staff as well. It’s also important to hear constructive feedback and address the needs of patients who might have had a less-than-excellent experience so you can continue to improve. Routinely checking online reviews gives your practice the opportunity to address any negative reviews and let anyone reading know that you take patient experience very seriously which can positively impact your online reputation as well.
It May Impact Your Insurance Contract
Insurance companies are starting to pay attention to online reviews for healthcare practices. They are starting to drop or reduce fees for providers who have a lot of negative reviews. On the contrary, even small providers who have great and many reviews, may use that as additional leverage to negotiate better contracts with their payers. Be sure to address any negative reviews, and strive to ensure your patients are happy with your services and your practice.
For Additional Help, Reach Out to Medical Business Partners
Medical Business Partners conducts many coding audits, leads educational trainings, forums, and boot camps for staff and physicians. To learn more about our coding and billing services, start-up consulting, credentialing services or other ways we can help you increase your revenues, please contact us through our website or by calling (202) 390-3966.