How Practices Can Improve Patient Reviews

March 22, 2018
Neil Mecwan, MHA

Nearly two thirds of patients find their physician online, so having bad reviews is not an option. Here's what doctors can do.

According to Software Advice, a company that provides research and user reviews on software applications, 72 percent of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a doctor, so your online reputation is often a first impression for many patients. Recently, payers have also started noticing patient reviews as they move towards the value-based care model.


From front desk staff, to providers, and management, any member that interacts with patients is a factor in patient reviews.

Three Key Benefits of an Improved Patient Review:


1. Happiness of patient reflecting good health.
2. Increased referral from word of mouth, other physicians, and payers.
3. Strong Market presence and branding.

How can reviews be improved?


Customer Service Training: Invest in your staff development. Customer service skills will benefit your practice, because front desk staff are often the first face of your company presented to the patient.


Software: Implement a software that helps you monitor, track, and manage your patient reviews. Make sure to have your own company page for social websites such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Also, the software or tool practices use should be able to provide alerts to key staff members when you receive a bad review.


Job Responsibility: Assign the duty of managing patient reviews to one of your staff members, such as an office manager. The assigned person should be able to respond to patient reviews and resolve any issues in a timely manner. He or she should also take full accountability of social websites and software to maintain and improve patient relations. 


Once you have the above three things in place, all you need is a "boost up" program. A boost-up program is an incentive laced one that will motivate employees.
For example, a physician group practice implemented an incentive-based program to improve their patient reviews. The program was assigned to the front desk receptionist/ patient service representative and the goal was to improve patient's reviews to 50 counts and four stars on Facebook and Google.


Upon reaching the goal, each front desk staff member was awarded with a reward (e.g. $10 Gift Card). This incentive base boost-up program helped the practice to reach their goal within a month. The practice appreciated the staff members who were highly motivated and put extra effort into it.


From there, all you need is a good tracking system so the importance of patient reviews is ensured and customer service is provided on a consistent basis. This way, staff members are encouraged to continually ask for the patient review.


Dedicating resources to garnering more patient reviews will ultimately lead to higher patient satisfaction and benefit the practice as a whole.