In recent years, there has been a focus on how to get healthcare reviews which has transformed the way patients choose their healthcare providers. Only a decade or so ago, patients had to rely on word of mouth to make informed decisions for their own safety or the safety of their loved ones. Now, however, the internet has allowed patients to search providers with ease.
From the comfort of a smart phone and with the simplicity of Google, patients are making incredibly informed decisions and using reviews from sites to choose where to get care. Studies have shown that nearly five percent of all Google searches are health-related, and many of these searches are of reviews of doctors and practices. Here’s an article as to how to get healthcare reviews for your practice.
Why do reviews matter?
Like many different highly professional businesses, the healthcare industry can often look intimidating to those on the outside. This problem is compounded because those looking for care are already anxious about their general wellbeing and terrified of lackadaisical or overly expensive care.
Most have heard horror stories of about missed diagnoses or insane overcharges from friends and family; these people are desperate to avoid these factors of the healthcare industry and look to reviews to ensure they’re getting quality care. If your healthcare company is not utilizing consistent and positive reviews, they’re missing out on crucial social proof of the quality work employees are putting in every day. Get healthcare reviews so that you are leaping ahead of the competition.
Helping your practice expand
In today’s day and age, the search for a doctor begins online. This means your practice needs to be search engine optimized and a giant factor in this process is making sure you have a plethora of customer reviews at your disposal. In fact, reviews are generally the third largest factor in determining your search engine ranking because they’re always filled with fresh and unique content that algorithms favor.
Practices with more reviews and higher ratings have a massive advantage when it comes to search ranking. Even if your practice has been successful for the last several years, it’s still important to up your review game, as the phrase “near me,” increased 350% in the last year according to Google Analytics. Preparing for how to get healthcare reviews will boost your results. Your practice will almost certainly miss showing up in these searches without reviews, and you’ll miss out on patient care.
Staying HIPAA compliant
Security concerns are always a priority when participating in any online activity. Healthcare organizations and practices are frantic to stay within HIPAA’s guidelines and ensure they’re not partaking in an unethical or illegal practice. That being said, requesting and sharing reviews online from former patients is absolutely legal and in no way violates HIPAA. However, you can get healthcare reviews without violating HIPAA.
Not only are reviews not a violation, asking for patient feedback and having them take the time to fill out a quick form is one of the easiest ways to improve your practice and enhance your care for future visitors. In addition, once a review is posted publicly, it’s not a violation to share it on social media or on your website.
Start collecting reviews
While it’s absolutely true that reviews are a great way to build trust between you and your clients and patients who use your practice, it’s not always natural or expected for patients to leave reviews of their healthcare provider. Your practice will need to be proactive in collecting reviews to ensure you have a large back catalogue and plenty of new content to stay relevant in search results. One of the main problems with how you get healthcare reviews on the patient end is that treatment doesn’t feel transactional – it doesn’t feel like they’re giving your practice anything for the care – because payment is handled by the insurance company.
To circumvent this awkward feeling, simply start sending text messages to your patients once discharged asking for their feedback. A well written request for their thoughts should be plenty to start the process. A direct link to Google is usually the most effective method way to get healthcare reviews; just make sure you don’t take up too much of their time and don’t ask in too intrusive a manner.
Respond to reviews
There are many benefits to responding to reviews after you’ve collected a fair amount. First, your practice will be more visible because Google has made recent changes to its algorithm. Long story short, responding to reviews will instantly allow your company to jump in the search results. Responding to reviews is also a great, organic way to respond to negative feedback and be proactive about improving your practice.
Understand that an extremely negative review can oftentimes be resolved with a quick response and smart communication on the part of your practice. Once the issue is resolved, severely low reviews will often be edited to higher scores. The patient will not only look at your practice in a positive light, your proactiveness will be perceived as going above and beyond, which will enhance word of mouth and spread the reach of your company.
Utilizing reviews is all about convincing potential patients that your practice is the safest, cleanest, and most experienced practice in the area. This process is bolstered by several steps you can take such as displaying your reviews in a prominent place on your website; put them somewhere that will be seen directly by the customer without much extra navigation or digging through the site.
You should also make a concerted effort to post your highest reviews, as publicly flaunting low reviews can be counterproductive to your goals. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are great places to post your positive reviews and draw attention to your practice. Going so far as to create an entire category within your site for reviews and testimonials is a great way to direct attention to your happiest clients and ease the fears of potential patients.
Top Healthcare Review Websites
- Google: Technically, Google is the world’s largest review site. Google is the primary search engine the general public uses to access information and decide where to spend their money.
- Facebook: Facebook is one of the most engaging social media platforms on the web right now. In addition to its engagement, it’s the second largest review site in the world.
- Healthgrades: This is a grade website to use because it’s specific to the healthcare landscape. Doctors and dentists use this site to spread the word about their company and collect important feedback on their practices.
- Vitals: Another healthcare-specific site, Vitals allows professionals in the field to write their own reviews and is home to more than nine million patient reviews.
- Yelp: Although the power of this once prominent review site has faded slightly, Yelp is still one of the top review sites in the world and is closely associated with Google and Apple Maps, presenting information when patients and consumers need to find your location.
Final thoughts on how to get healthcare reviews
The simplest thing to do is to prepare for reviews (both good and bad). We feel that transparency is the best way to get healthcare reviews and it starts by focusing on customer service. If you are prepared, then you will be ahead of the curve and ready to get healthcare reviews. Learn more online or get free courses telehealthist.com.