Three Tips for Fixing the Sources of Poor Online Reviews

Even if you are the most efficient customer service-oriented practice, there are times when you can do nothing right in eyes of some patients. It’s so easy for patients to go straight to Yelp or Google to post their criticisms. Often times, these poor reviews are completely correctable office issues that have little to do with actual treatment. Unfortunately, potential patients don’t care why the review is negative, or the story behind it. This post will discuss some of the most common, and easily fixed issues that might contribute to a poor review and how to avoid them.

Long wait times.

Long wait times are the curse of every medical office, and every patient. Unfortunately, they are inevitable. However, it is in your best interest to avoid long waits if possible, and communicate with your patients when it does occur so you can do your best to fix the problem. Try implementing an appointment reminder system that aids patients in remembering the exact time of their appointments. In the event that a patient does have to wait, don’t ignore the situation.  Apologize and keep the patient updated on the doctor’s progress; a little communication goes a long way.

A cluttered office.

If your office appears unkempt or sloppy it can instantaneously create a negative impression. Patients equate appearance and cleanliness with quality of care, so it’s essential that your practice stay organized and appear well cared for. Make it a point to check each room before a patient enters and be sure it looks organized and tidy.  The same thing goes for the waiting room and front office; the more updated, fresh and streamlined you can make the office look, the better impression a patient will have.

Chaotic staff.

If the office staff seems overwhelmed, disorganized or disgruntled, a patient may assume the physician is equally disorganized as well. And obviously, spotty treatment is never a good thing. It’s time to try implementing technological upgrades to help manage the chaos. For example, computerized medical records and appointment books keep patient records at your fingertips. Portable devices for patient check-in will make the process seamless and easy, while adopting patient portal systems put the patients in control of their own paperwork. These tools reduce paper waste, create more space, and keep patient files all in one secure place.

Utilize a patient survey system.

It is important to understand that many patients posting negative or unsatisfactory reviews simply want to be heard.  If you can implement your own patient survey system, you are giving them a productive outlet through which they can express their complaints without damaging your online reputation.

By taking the time to evaluate where your practice stands in these few areas, you can reduce your chances of garnering negative reviews, and gain some positive ones in the process.  And remember that all reviews, whether positive or negative, will provide your practice the opportunity to engage with the patients, so use them to your advantage.

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