Hospital Impact: Three tips for handling Facebook reviews

facebook laptop
If you have a presence on Facebook, you should have a plan in place to address concerns and complaints.
Nancy P. Jean

Facebook reviews can be a boon for your hospital—or a nightmare.

If your hospital is on Facebook, you probably have a star rating right there on your business page, with people leaving reviews often. In healthcare, I’ve found that people are either very happy that you helped them, really angry that you didn’t, or frustrated that you made them wait too long.

If patients and visitors are leaving you five-star reviews, fantastic! But when they start leaving one- or two-star reviews, it’s cause for concern.

Here are three tips for you to address these reviews on your page:

1. Have a plan. If you have a presence on Facebook, you should have a plan in place to address concerns and complaints. Either your patient relations team is working directly with you, or you have a system in place to get these reviews to them. In either case, you need a system to address what may be a serious issue or an unhappy patient or family member.

2. Don’t hide. The worst action you can take when you have a negative review is to not respond. Have a way of monitoring and responding to negative complaints. Be sure you know the people in your organization who can help with different types of issues, like parking, long wait times, or complaints about patient care. Know when an issue should be brought to the attention of your risk management staff; they will always appreciate that heads up.

3. Consider nixing reviews. Facebook now allows business pages to remove the ability for their community to leave reviews. It’s something to consider and is an easy fix through your page’s settings. If you don’t have a plan in place to address bad reviews, don’t have the staff to monitor, or don’t feel that it’s appropriate for your hospital, then know you have this option available.

As a colleague said to me, a hospital is not a restaurant or a hotel. It diminishes the brand by having reviews on a hospital Facebook page. Do you agree, or do you like having reviews on your hospital’s page?

Nancy P. Jean is the senior social media strategist for Lifespan.