Your patients may do a great deal of research before they decide to use your practice. They want to feel confident that you are the best-choice provider for the services they need and that they can count on you to help them accomplish their medical goals. In today’s era of healthcare consumerism, many people are taking their medical care in their own hands, including looking up online patient reviews before they choose a provider.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 77% of prospective patients will research online reviews before booking their first appointment with a new provider. Seventy-two percent of healthcare consumers look for a rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars before deciding on a health facility or physician, according to the 2022 Healthcare Reputation Report.

What does that mean for your practice?

Having Reviews Is Critical

As a medical practice, it is essential that you deliberately seek out reviews from satisfied patients. According to Rater8, best practice dictates that a medical practice have at least 30 Google Reviews with a score of 4+ stars. Anything less than that has negative repercussions on patient acquisition performance.

Potential future patients want to know that you will bring the same level of commitment and excellence to them. They want to know that they can trust you with their health or the health of their family members, and they’re counting on your past patients to provide them with those reviews.

Are your patients offering those reviews, or do you find yourself struggling to get that content for your website? As part of your regular patient interactions, encourage your patients to offer those reviews and provide your future patients with those insights.

How You Respond to Reviews Matters

Not every patient will have the experience they’re hoping for with your practice. Unfortunately, some patients may not receive the positive experience they were expecting due to a rude front desk employee, poor clinical experience, or dealing with an incorrect bill after the fact.

Take a look at your reviews on a regular basis. What do they have to say about you? When you do receive a negative review, how does your practice respond to it? You may want to offer a compassionate response to dissatisfied patients, which can help showcase your overall commitment to patient care.

Responding to positive reviews is also a great personal touch. Be grateful for the patients who took the time out of their day to share more information about their experience with your practice and who had positive things to say about you.

Patterns May Show Up in Your Reviews Over Time

In addition to paying attention to your individual reviews and responding when necessary, take a look at what trends in your reviews might say about your practice over time. It’s normal to have some disgruntled patients, especially those for whom a treatment or procedure did not turn out according to plan.

However, you should take note of any trends that you notice in your patient reviews, such as:

  • Do your patients have negative comments about their reception at your office?
  • Do patients complain that it’s hard to get in touch with you or hard to get an appointment scheduled?
  • What do patients have to say about the attitudes of your staff members?

As you uncover those trends in patient reviews over time, consider what you may want to address within your practice. How can you make changes that will help improve overall patient satisfaction or the standard of patient care? Is there something different that you need to offer your patients? Your reviews could hold the key.

Your patient reviews could be one of the most essential elements of your practice’s online presence. By paying careful attention to those reviews, you can improve your ability to bring in patients who are interested in your services and offer improvements to patient care that can help improve patient satisfaction.

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