How Patient Referrals Matter for Your Medical Practice

With the rise of the digital age, a healthcare organization’s online reputation can have a massive impact on its overall brand image.

According to a survey reported by MobiHealthNews, 95 percent of U.S. adults, including 97 percent of millennials, trust online ratings and reviews. Additionally, 70 percent said that they rely on online testimonials when choosing their doctors.

See for yourself how ReferralMD can improve your patient referral process with patient engagement tools that reduce no-shows.

Schedule A Demo

This means that many people today treat online reviews as solid social proof when looking for a healthcare professional.

As patients become more vocal about their experiences online, healthcare organizations need to play a more active role in responding to these reviews.

In this article, you’ll find out why you should pay extra care and attention to these online reviews, as well as some helpful insights on how to boost your practice’s online reputation.

Why Should You Pay Attention To Your Online Review

Woman filling job application form in office with boss Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels

Patients don’t trust you until they trust you online. Online reviews give potential patients a glimpse of what it’s like being under your care.

In fact, 41 percent of the respondents from the previous survey said that they still search for a doctor online, even if they were another physician’s referral.

Thanks to Google and nifty smartphones, researching a doctor online has become faster and easier. Potential patients have likely read other patients’ experiences before deciding to book an appointment with you.

It’s crucial to take care of your digital credibility if you want to remain competitive in the healthcare industry. Your online platforms can either make or break your patients’ perception of your service.

Search engines, like Google, rely heavily on user-generated reviews to help an entity increase its online presence.

The key to ranking high on these search results is by getting positive patient reviews. Search engines recommend highly-rated healthcare institutions first to patients searching for a medical provider.

However, it isn’t enough that you’re getting an influx of reviews. Negative reviews come up more often than positive ones. To avoid any undesirable impacts on your brand image, it’s best to address the negatives as soon and as efficient as you can.

How to Gain Positive Patient Reviews Online

Man in white coat holding black tablet computer Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

The Internet can provide helpful information about our health concerns, but it can also be a source of various misinformation.

As an expert health professional, one of your responsibilities is to promote health awareness to as many people as possible. A trustworthy reputation comes when you provide your online readers with credible, reliable, and factual medical information.

These readers will most likely be converted into potential patients who will book an appointment with you soon.

You can do a lot to gain positive patient reviews online and improve your overall brand reputation. Here are some tips to improve your positive online presence.

1. Top-notch patient care and service

Positive feedback comes from positive experiences. If you’re delivering the best service possible to your patients, good reviews will most likely follow.

To achieve this, you will have to be meticulous on many things about your business, including your facilities, healthcare technology, prices, quality of services, and staff attitude.

2. Encouraging patients to give honest feedback

It wouldn’t hurt to ask your patients their honest thoughts about their experience. You can actually get helpful insights on how to improve your services from their feedback.

How can we serve you better? How was your experience today?

Ask your patients these direct questions, and they will surprise you at how honest they would answer you.

Most patients would be glad to know that you care about their experience, and they would be willing to share their feedback online as well.

3. Addressing negative reviews in a professional manner

Don’t just sit back and rant in one corner when you encounter a negative online review. Take your time to respond to it professionally and think of possible solutions to resolve the conflict.

Even if the negative review seems unjustified, be calm to address it, and offer a solution. You may also invite the patients with negative experiences to revisit you to give them a better service.

When you respond to a negative review professionally, your unsatisfied patient will see that you care for them and continuously strive to improve your services to provide them a better experience.

In some cases, a patient may even take down the negative review and replace it positively after seeing your response.

4. Using online tools to manage patient reviews

Managing online reviews on your own may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, many online marketing tools aim to help healthcare providers manage their patient reviews.

Some of these tools have automated communication features to help you send out emails to your patients and ask them to leave reviews on popular online platforms after their appointment.

As a result, you will have a better relationship with your existing patients, and you can also attract new potential ones.

You can also hire a healthcare digital marketing agency to help you achieve an excellent online reputation.

These agencies will not only help you manage your online reviews, but they will also provide effective services to improve your online marketing strategies and increase your patient conversions.

5. Remaining HIPAA compliant

As a medical provider, you must continue to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Avoid publishing any of your patient’s sensitive health information online without their consent.

It’s best to create and follow your own guidelines on responding to any reviews and managing your digital platforms without violating the HIPAA standards.

Boost Your Medical Practice With Online Patient Reviews!

Trust is important in maintaining a good patient-doctor relationship. Nobody would like to seek medical help from someone with a bad reputation.

Medical providers now need to embrace the vital role of their overall digital presence in providing top-quality healthcare services and earning the trust of their current and future patients.

With the abundance of positive testimonies, your practice will not only boost its presence online but as well as to the community you’re serving!

Request a Demo

See how ReferralMD delivers a better experience for providers, staff, and patients.

Learn More