More patients are turning to online resources to find information about health conditions and healthcare providers before making an appointment. According to BrightLocal’s 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
It is more important than ever to establish your practice’s online presence and build a positive online reputation.
In order to onboard a new facility or provider into our Reputation Management and online listings management systems, go to http://hcadigital.zendesk.com and submit a ticket to Onboard a New Facility/Physician. Your request will be answered within 24 hours.
Once your online presence is established, it is important to:
- Develop a strong online reputation by acquiring new positive reviews.
- Monitor profiles by keeping a record of reviews and sentiment.
- Respond appropriately to positive and negative reviews.
- Report duplicate profiles.
- Contest duplicate reviews.
Managing Online Reviews with Binary Fountain
Closing the Loop
- Upon receiving a review, you will receive an email alert from Binary Fountain.
- For negative reviews only, click the link on the email alert that says “Associated Task” This will direct you to the Binary Fountain dashboard, where you will log in.
- To Close the Loop, select one of the four options:
Respond Online: Respond to the review online when appropriate. This can be done through the dashboard for Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews. Select through which account you are responding, type your response and click “Request for Approval.”
Phone: Select this option when following up via phone (for example, a volatile situation that may snowball into an argument online). Type any internal comments you would like to leave and click “Submit.”
Other: Select this options when following up in-person or through other means is the best course of action (for example, the patient has an upcoming appointment or has already been spoken to in-person). Type any internal comments you would like to leave and click “Submit.”
No Response: This is used in circumstances when it is not appropriate to respond to a review or follow-up with the patient offline. It can also be used to denote when a Vitals review is hidden or when a review on Google or Yelp is contested. Additionally, sites not claimed through PMP and Healthgrades do not require an online response. Simply leave your comment and click “Submit.”
Once you have updated and closed the loop, the task is complete. If a negative review is not closed out after three days, a reminder is sent to the practice manager and all day 1 contacts. After this, it follows the general escalation path below*:
Hospital Marketing Director
Hospital Marketing Director Reminder
Director of PR and Communications
Division Marketing Leadership
*Contacts vary by division. Please contact your account manager for a more detailed escalation contact list.
Note that extremely negative reviews (those with keywords such as malpractice, sue, lawyer, media) are escalated on an accelerated timeline. This is due to the time-sensitive nature of these reviews and will be noted in the subject line of the review.
Responding to Reviews Online
Responding to reviews, especially when they are negative, can help rebuild a relationship with an unhappy patient and show prospective patients the practice is willing to listen to complaints and fix issues brought to their attention.
When and how should you respond to positive reviews?
Respond to positive reviews. (Note: It is not mandatory to Close the Loop for positive reviews.)
Keep responses to positive reviews short and simple. We encourage you to use one of the provided response templates in Binary Fountain, but ensure the response is made to feel like a personal reply and do not copy/paste the same response for each review.
- Thank you for giving us a great score! Our committed staff is pleased to serve the <city name> community.
- We work to deliver the quality care patients expect and deserve. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us!
When and how should you respond to negative reviews?
Respond to negative reviews about things that can be changed or about the patient’s overall experience. See examples below:
- The receptionist is always rude when I call to make an appointment.
- I had blood tests done two months ago and still haven’t received the results. I’ve called five times and no one has called me back.
Don’t respond to reviews about medical issues out of the physician’s control or negative reviews that do not provide a reason for the complaint:
- I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I blame the physician. He ran tests, but couldn’t determine why I lost my baby.
- This doctor is horrible.
Don’t respond to exaggerated or unrealistic reviews:
- I wouldn’t bring my dog to this doctor.
- I specifically asked for Dilaudid or Vicodin, but the doctor was a jerk and told me those pain medications were too strong to treat my pain.
When responding to negative reviews, take responsibility, apologize, tell the patient the facility will try to improve and, if necessary, ask the patient to call the facility to discuss the complaint further.
Feel free to use one of the response templates provided in Binary Fountain or create a unique response. For assistance responding to negative reviews, contact your reputation management account manager.
We are truly sorry. We strive to treat all patients like family. Please call our office so we can discuss this review in more detail.
- Our practice truly values your feedback, and we are sorry to hear about this experience. Please contact our practice manager at <### - ### - ####> so that we may work to make the situation better. Thank you.
- We are sorry to hear about this experience in our hospital and would like to look into our wait times further. Please call <contact at facility - position/first name> so that we can get further information to address the situation.
- Thank you for your feedback. We are so sorry to hear about this. Please call our practice manager <first name> at <phone number> so that we may resolve this and work to prevent it from happening in the future.
- We sincerely apologize for any scheduling and billing issues experienced at our practice and value this feedback. We are dedicated to providing timely, patient-centered, quality care and regret that this was not the experience described. As we work to improve our processes, please don't hesitate to reach out to our office at <office phone number/PM direct line> to express your concerns.
Please refer to the Sample Review Response toolkit for more customizable review response templates.
The Privacy Rule in The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects all "individually identifiable health information,” including:
- the patient’s physical or mental health
- information that identifies a patient or could potentially identify the patient
When responding to online comments, remember to follow HIPAA guidelines and:
- Respond in generalizations, such as “We strive to deliver quality care to all patients.”
- Never use patient names in a response, even if they identify themselves in the comment.
- Take the conversation offline by asking patients to call your office if you need to discuss the review further.
Contest Duplicate Reviews
Is this a duplicate review?
Sometimes duplicate reviews don’t match word-for-word or have different dates. If you reasonably believe the review is a duplicate, contest it by opening a ticket at http://hcadigital.zendesk.com
Acquiring New Positive Reviews
- Verify your information.
Make sure information is correct on your profiles so patients know they are viewing and reviewing the correct practice. If any discrepancies are found, please open a ticket at http://hcadigital.zendesk.com.
- Tell patients about your practice’s and physicians’ online presence.
Customized promotional materials can be ordered through MediaWorks to promote online review and social media sites.
- Develop a plan to ask for patient reviews.
Receptionists, medical office coordinators, nurses, physicians and anyone who interacts with patients as part of their job can easily take a few minutes to ask for an online review.4. Send an email marketing campaigns.
- Send an email marketing campaign.
Include links to your online profiles in your newsletter and ask patients to share their experience.
- Create a friendly competition.
Give a prize to the person in your office who has the most positive mentions on review sites or set monthly goals and have an office-wide celebration when those goals are met. This will encourage your entire office to work toward improving your online reputation.
- Don’t write fake reviews.
Review sites use technology to identify fake reviews. If a site believes your practice is writing fake reviews, they may shut down your profile. Practices can also be fined large amounts for writing fake reviews because it’s a form of false advertising.
Employees should not write reviews, even if they are patients at the practice because it’s against the terms and conditions of most review sites.
If you have any questions about how to manage your online reputation, please contact your Reputation Management Account Manager or open a support ticket at http://hcadigital.zendesk.com