Asking patients to review your practice online

With more patients using online reviews to find a new doctor, it’s understandable that physicians and practices want to strengthen their online ratings. And there's nothing wrong with asking patients for help.

“When a patient is a promoter of the practice and has an amazing story to tell, we ask if they would mind sharing on social media, and they usually are very willing to do so,” Janice Johnston, M.D., a primary care physician at Arrowhead Health Centers in Glendale, Arizona, told Medical Economics.

RELATED: Study—Physician-rating websites don’t provide meaningful information

Don’t be too pushy, but if a patient has made several positive comments to you, ask them to do the same online. Ask staff to encourage patients to leave a review and then follow through by using those positive patient reviews in your marketing.

And make it easy for patients to find and leave reviews by listing your practice on popular sites.

RELATED: Convert negative online reviews into wins for your practice

By the way, it’s a big mistake not to respond if you discover an unhappy patient has posted negative or inaccurate comments. You want to respond and provide your point of view, but do so carefully so you don’t violate patient confidentiality and privacy. 

A 2016 survey by a software research and rating company found 77% of patients use online reviews to find their next doctor.