Physicians and medical professionals alike are facing the harsh reality of the growing patient use of online review giants like Yelp, HealthGrades, Vitals, Google and more to give and get unbiased information about how physicians and medical practice are really like.
Your reputation is your most important asset. Potential patients are researching your practice before they even step in the door and with that being said, what happens when you discover a not-so pleasant review of your practice? Read on as we provide three tips on how to best respond to that bad review.
1. Do NOT disclose any private health information related to the patient
When responding to a review it’s important to remember that the federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA is still in effect. It is your duty as medical professional to protect patient confidentiality above all else.
Do not disclose any patient sensitive information when responding to a review, only when a patient gives you permission may you speak publicly about a individual cases. Instead, what you can do is speak in general terms about the way your practice treats its patients, as in not singling anyone out. By keeping it broad, you can protect a practice’s reputation without stepping into legal trouble.
2. Do NOT respond back harshly
Responding in a hostile manner to a negative review will only create more trouble for yourself. Remember that online reviews are for everyone to see, both the good and the bad. Although many people won’t join the conversation, they will read the comments of others and they’ll pay very close attention to how your medical practice responds.
Responding to negative reviews is a great opportunity for your practice to demonstrate how caring, thoughtful and engaged it is with former/current patients. If you can show that your doctors listens and responds to feedback in an appropriate manner, you’ll end up building a sense of trust that will be above that one negative review.
Example: YOLO Laser Center & Med Spa
What do you think of their response to this negative review?
While Yolo’s response did respect the former patient’s privacy in regards to HIPAA compliance, the negative backlash towards the reviewer on a public review site was not necessary, even if it was true. It’s up to reader to decide in the end, showing the public that you go on the offensive in response to criticism does your practice no favors.
3. Don’t get out of shape over a bad review
One negative review isn’t going to make or break your practice and if they’re a few negative reviews, then the issue at hand is a denominator one. If you can figure out a way to generate more positive reviews from the majority of your patients rather than letting a few sour apples dictate your practice profile ratings, then the problem is solved.
Looking for reputation management help with your medical practice? Let CarbonFoot Medical help generate more positive reviews for your practice.