Blog Posts

How Practices Can Up the Number and Quality of Patient Reviews

March 2, 2023

According to Software Advice, 82% of patients read reviews before choosing a healthcare provider, and 72% of patients are using online reviews as their very first step in finding a new doctor or dentist.

This means that most of your new patients will find your practice or your providers after reading your reviews.

What’s more, is that positive reviews are a solid indicator of higher patient satisfaction. 

According to a study by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, patient satisfaction scores are higher for physicians with more positive reviews.  

But there’s a challenge. Patients who had less-than-perfect outcomes might be the first ones to leave you a negative review that can drag down your score. Happy patients may not even think about leaving a review.

So, how do we ensure that you get a better view of your performance and a wider range of reviews from across your patient base? 

First, let’s look at a few things your patients might consider while looking at your reviews. Then, let’s explore some ways to boost your review number and overall score.

What Patients Look for in Reviews

Review platforms like Google, Healthgrades, and others, make it easy for visitors to look through new reviews, relevant reviews, as well as positive and negative reviews. When someone is looking for a practice or care provider, they’ll sample a little bit of everything.

The Good and the Bad

Your positive reviews will speak for themselves, but what about the negative reviews? Luckily, prospects aren’t fools. Most will be able to see through unreasonable negative reviews. But for those negative reviews that were earned (no practice is perfect, of course), you still have the opportunity to reply and offer a way to make things right. Be sure to respond to negative reviews, because prospects will see and make note of your responses. We cover how to respond to reviews in another piece, but remember that replying and being willing to address issues will go a long way, not just with upset patients but with prospects, too.  

The Specifics

Often, patients will look for details in a review–not simply the review rating. They may look for the name of a specific provider or procedure. They’ll take the time to put themselves in the shoes of the reviewer and imagine if your practice will provide the right experience for them. That’s why it’s so crucial to encourage patients to leave more detailed reviews, when possible. Let’s look at how to get more detailed reviews.

How to Generate More and Better Quality Reviews

We’ve noticed that many practices see dozens of patients in a day, yet only get a few new reviews a month, even if they ask. There are a few simple solutions to this.

- Use Automation - With tools like Swell, you can automatically send review invites to patients following a procedure.

- Use Integrations - With the right solution, you can integrate with your EHR/PMS system, meaning you can trigger a review invite to go out following a specific procedure. 

- Use SMS Text - Text open rates are much higher than email open rates. Using text-based review invites, about 17% of texts that go out lead to a review. These will add up quickly.

- Use Customization - This is crucial. Personalization like including a photo of a provider or your practice logo can help increase the number of reviews you generate. Further, customizing the invite itself can help you get more specific feedback. For instance, ask a patient to leave a review for your provider or about their experience, and they’ll often be more specific in their review, which helps boost the credibility of your reviews. 

We like to think of it this way: Automation + Customization = optimization. Use the approaches above and you’ll get more reviews. 

What If I Keep Getting Negative Reviews?

Let’s be clear about something. We at Swell have learned great ways to get practice feedback. But there’s a catch. You, as a practice, only get positive reviews if you earn them. If your review scores are persistently low, there’s a chance you have some processes to improve, and no amount of new reviews will fix a broken process. Luckily, your reviews will start to improve when your processes do, and there’s a hidden benefit to negative reviews. They’ll point you to what you must fix. Is it a particular part of your process? Is it a provider or staff member that needs additional guidance or training? Reading negative reviews with an open mind can help you improve your practice and the quality of care you provide. If you use them to improve your processes, your reviews will improve soon thereafter. 

Final Thoughts 

We can’t say this enough: reviews are critical! Take a moment to find a solution that can help you get reviews automatically, and ditch the QR codes. Soon, you’ll get a clearer picture of what your practice really looks like to your patients. You likely know you’re awesome, but having proof of that fact online can really help you grow. 

For more info on automating reviews, sign up for a demo of Swell by clicking the Free Consultation link above.

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