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Medical Practice Managers and Managing Online Practice Reviews

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Posted by steve on August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I want to share with you some thoughts about your soliciting online reviews of your practice.

The first thing I frequently hear is “Why would I want to do that?”

OR

“A patient who has a bad outcome or is not satisfied is not fairly qualified to evaluate what I actually did that was right.”

I think these two responses are important smokescreens we should discuss – inaccurate, avoidant, and understandable reasons people don’t leverage the internet for themselves.

Smokescreen #2. Online reviews of my practice are amateur, inaccurate, and unreliable.

FACT: Your practice can now be rated online without you knowing it.

Angie’s list. Vitals.com. Healthgrades.com. Even on your own website or blog!

There are some celebrated cases of professionals suing clients for libel, slander, tortious interference, but guess what. Those lawsuits only make for more bad press.

In this situation, the best defense is a good offense.

I recommend you start collecting client reviews online. Ask your satisfied clients to rate you on Yelp or Healthgrades. Have them bring in a copy of their rating to their next appointment, and give them a thank you or a gift. No healthcare or medical practice is above this.

(If you disagree, I’m happy to discuss personally.)

This way, you have a slew of positive recommendations, more visibility on the internet, better placement, and credibility that you are driving, that’s under your control. All of this positive presence can over-shadow the few clients who will get negative on you online. And now you know where they are doing it, and they are encircled by positives.

Try this for yourself

Just as last time, go to Google.

“Google” your practice category and your location, i.e.

  • “therapist San Francisco”
  • “pain specialist Milwaukee”
  • “nutritionist Manhattan”

Look at Google’s first page carefully.

  • Find the Google Places listings which are noted:
  • Look to right of their business name.
  • See how many reviews they have.
  • Some have over 100 reviews (wow!) and some have few or none.

FACT: People don’t know or fully appreciate your expertise. The internet is a wonderful social tool, and people look for others’ opinions.

Even if you are above the idea of online recommendations, your clients will be looking to see how many recommendations other practices have. Even if they hear good things about you from a friend, they may still check you out online.

This is a new “word of mouth,” and whether you agree with it or not, your potential clients are using it.

Your best option, and a resource that works for you 24 x 7 x 365, for virtually no cost, is to be on the internet with your own voice, joined by the voices of others. If you don’t have the time to do this, and I recommend you don’t personally, one of your medical practice managers can do it for you. You stay focused on your practice. Allow someone else to stay focused on your online presence.

Feel free to contact me for further discussion. I welcome the conversation.

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