Why should online reviews matter to healthcare providers?

Online reviews have redefined the way patients choose healthcare providers. Here’s a brief overview of this trend and how you can leverage it to get more patients for your healthcare practice.

Why do reviews matter to healthcare providers?

Because reviews matter to patients: 84% of patients regularly consult review sites to view or post comments and ratings of healthcare staff (BrightLocal). Sites like Google and Facebook, along with medical review sites like Healthgrades and ZocDoc, have made it easier than ever for patients to post and share experiences. Patients don’t want to take any chances when it comes to their health. With such an overwhelming amount of information available at the tap of a button, they want sources they know they can trust. That’s why reviews have quickly become one of the most valued online resources for patients seeking the best care.

Patient reviews and SEO

Today, the search for a doctor begins online, and reviews are often the first thing patients encounter.


Online reviews show up on page 1 of search results because they are full of fresh, unique content that search engines love. Practices with more reviews and higher ratings on a variety of sites have an incredible advantage when it comes to Google search.

To sum up: both customers and search engines value reviews for their authentic, unbiased information. In fact, patients place so much trust in reviews that to accelerate their search, they increasingly filter results to see only 4 and 5-star rated practices. If your practice doesn’t have enough positive reviews, it won’t even be considered as an option.

What does a good review management strategy look like?

  • Monitor and respond to reviews from all sites in real-time. This lets you address any issues before they escalate, minimizing the damage of negative reviews. Remember, your response is seen not only by the reviewer, but also by all prospective patients researching your practice. This is a great chance to demonstrate transparency and dedication to patient satisfaction.
  • Consistently generate new reviews. Collect reviews on sites that matter most to your practice and your patients. Use an automated software like MCD Reviews to make this process easy and effective.
  • Promote your best reviews. Share them everywhere you can, like your company website, social channels, and Google ads. MCD Reviews also creates a custom SEO-optimized review microsite for each physician displaying all their best reviews along with the option to book an appointment.

Bottom line: online reviews are the first impression patients get of your practice. It’s not only important to pay attention to what people are saying about your services online. In order to build the trust and credibility required to get new patients, you also need to regularly generate new reviews, interact with patient feedback, and leverage great testimonials for marketing purposes.

Want to know more? Check out our MCD Reviews.

Negative Google Reviews: Can I Remove Them?

The short answer is no, but wait! All hope is not lost.

Sites like Google, Facebook, Healthgrades and Yelp aim to deliver honest, unbiased reviews. Some sites have strict penalties for businesses that try to game the system either by writing fake reviews, offering incentives, or some other shady maneuver. Only reviews that explicitly violate the review site’s Terms & Conditions have a chance at being removed, but only by a site administrator.

The point is: an authentic Google business profile displays ALL opinions from ALL patients, not just the ones the business prefers. Therefore, your negative reviews are here to stay.

Review management

You can’t control what patients say, but you can control what you say. The right response could win back the patient’s loyalty or even get them to edit or delete their review. Even if the patient takes no further action, others reading the review will take note of your thoughtful response, minimizing the damage of the negative review.

Don’t react; respond

Reviews piling up with no response tell patients your business couldn’t care less about them — you want to prove the opposite is true.

Tip 1: Have an internal process in place to deal with a negative review

  • First question, is the reviewer, in fact, a patient?
  • Discuss details with your staff or provider who treated the patient
  • Try to resolve issues OFFLINE. Do not discuss details with the patient online due to possible HIPAA violations.
  • Have a standard response ready. For example:

“Thank you for your feedback. We promise to fix the problem internally and will contact you directly for resolution.”

Tip 2:
 Offer options to ease their concerns and show you care. For example:

  • Refund their money. Use your best judgment to determine if the issue was exceptionally awful enough to merit a full refund.
  • Offer a discount for the next time they return. This increases the likelihood of the patient giving you a second chance.
  • Promise to fix the problem internally. If you do this, list any specifics you can, such as who you will contact and when you expect the issue to be resolved. Again, be aware of any HIPAA issues.

Only after responding thoughtfully and providing a satisfactory solution should you consider asking the patient if they would remove their review (or update it to a positive one) — if they haven’t already done so on their own. Don’t push this, as it implies you only care about your brand image rather than your patients.

What’s the antidote for a bad review? Lots of great reviews!

Patient voices are the most powerful form of advertising. Collect new reviews from your patients on a consistent basis and eventually the positives will outweigh the negatives. Automated software like MCD Reviews makes it incredibly easy to get hundreds of new reviews on third-party sites, then promote the best ones across the web.

Negative reviews are an inevitable part of running a business, but with a solid review management strategy in place, your patients will do your marketing for you.



Article credit to Birdeye Growth Hackers