Doctors and Surgeons: Remove Negative Reviews or Add Positive Ones?
Removing unfair negative reviews is a challenging task, especially for doctors whose few unsatisfied patients have posted negative comments on various review sites such as RateMDs, Vitals, and even Google Reviews. Without professional online reputation management, many physicians are being unjustly attacked on these highly visible review sites. Even worse, they are losing potential patients because of it without even knowing it!
All the hard work it takes to become a fully licensed doctor can all be brought down by only a few unjustified reviews. Physicians spend 4 years as an undergraduate, 4 years at medical school, 3-5 years in residency, 2-3 years in a fellowship, and many years launching a successful practice. Still, 72% of patients will trust even one negative online review as much as a personal recommendation.
There must be another way to battle these one-sided reviews!
Yes, there is. And it’s far more effective than simply asking individuals or websites to remove unfair negative reviews. This is online healthcare reputation management 101.
Instead of removing negative reviews, highlight how truly successful you and your practice are by posting authentic reviews from your happiest and most satisfied patients. Below are three steps towards adding more authentic, positive, and visible online reviews to promote your online reputation. But be careful! There can be some stumbling blocks…
1. Create a Digital Survey
A digital survey can provide a two-fold solution for doctors seeking unfair review relief.
- It’s an easy way to collect and retain patient reviews and testimonials.
- The survey acts as a buffer for the occasional unsatisfied patient; instead of leaving you a visible review on a third-party review site, they will vent any frustration in your survey.
Make sure that the survey has the correct authorization language and is HIPAA-observant! You don’t want to create further distress when patients see reviews online that they didn’t know would be posted. Partnering with a legal team will help your practice to avoid this situation altogether.
The ability to collect reviews (with the correct authorization language) is the first step towards drowning out some of those one-sided negative online reviews online.
But what now?
2. Collect Patient Testimonials
Collecting authentic and positive patient reviews to post online helps your online reputation in two ways:
- It shows people searching for you in what high regard many patients hold you.
- Posting positive reviews suppresses negative reviews by pushing them farther down the page where potential patients are less likely to look.
Having all these glowing testimonials visible online will make you shine and subdue some of those negative online reviews! But the question still lingers – where do I post these reviews now that I have them?
3. Own Real Estate On Google
85% of patients use online reviews to determine if a local practice is good or not. These patients will search for you through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If you get a negative review on Vitals, people will be able to find it quickly. However, if you create websites that populate well on Google and frame your practice in a positive light, then potential patients searching for you will get an authentic idea of what your practice is really like.
Now potential patients will search for you, and see only the authentic and positive comments people have made about your practice. No longer will people turn away from your office because of a single unfair review!
So that’s it! Use the information wisely.