Patients have the right to talk about their healthcare experiences through reviews or feedback. Collecting positive patient reviews is an easy and inexpensive way to increase patient loyalty, internet visibility, and medical practice credibility. The internet and its resources have created a new culture, where patients increasingly share their thoughts about a healthcare provider’s service — social media sites and Google are among the most popular platforms to give reviews.

Getting patient reviews is not enough; your organization must receive positive feedback and at least four- or five-star ratings on review platforms such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other channels to gain online recognition. And you must use these patient reviews to your advantage to improve your services and boost patient retention.

Here are six vital reasons why your organization should collect positive patient reviews now:

1. Most patients use online reviews to find new healthcare providers.

According to a Search Engine Land study, 88% of online consumers — including patients — trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Patients rely on online reviews to select which medical practice is most credible. They read patient reviews prior to making an appointment.

Online reviews are a quick and easy way to provide potential patients insight into your practice and services. Moreover, by reading positive patient reviews, prospective patients are more likely to choose you for their healthcare and recommend you to their family and friends.

Reading positive online reviews makes first-time patients feel more confident in your practice. Collecting positive patient reviews significantly enhances a prospective patient’s trust in you.

2. Patients trust your medical practice based on your digital credibility.

As more patients are looking online to determine which healthcare provider to go to, it makes building your practice’s credibility with positive patient reviews more important than ever. Consumers tend to believe most of what they read on online platforms, especially about healthcare experiences. Reading patient reviews is the first impression potential patients have of your practice.

Receiving few or negative reviews affects the image and reputation of your practice. Patients are less likely to trust you as a healthcare provider over someone with a lot of four to five-star ratings. According to an online survey, most customers do not trust companies with lower than four-star reviews.

Unfortunately, false reviews sometimes happen, so it is crucial to monitor reviews and address them quickly. On the other hand, you can boost cumulative reviews; the higher it is, the better your digital credibility.

Implementing a strategy to monitor your online reputation — positive and negative patient reviews — is a must. You can follow these strategies to address reviews and enhance your online credibility:

  • Personally respond to reviews to demonstrate your accountability and engagement with patients
  • Create review response templates for positive reviews that don’t need personalized replies, such as thanking them, this ensures that all reviews are acknowledged
  • Address negative reviews thoughtfully and empathetically to minimize the impact they have on your reputation

Encouraging your patients to post unbiased reviews online helps you reach a wider audience than word-of-mouth testimonials. Managing and growing your online reputation makes you stand out from other providers and attract new patients.

3. Positive patient reviews place your practice at the top of search engine rankings.

Patient reviews can help a medical practice gain more visibility on Google, Yelp, RateMDs, Facebook, and other online review platforms. Positive patient reviews such as five-star ratings not only boost your practice’s reputation but also increase your search engine ranking, potentially pushing you to the first page of, for example, Google.

Your practice appears more trustworthy if you add positive reviews or testimonials to your website, and systems such as Googlebots push it up in the search results.

Online searches begin with a search engine, and Google is by far the most popular and valuable, as zero-click Google searches rose to nearly 65% in 2020, according to a SimilarWeb study. Google displays information that is highly relevant to what a patient searches for on the internet.

Receiving too many bad reviews pushes your website to the bottom of search engine results, and you don’t want potential patients to have a negative impression of your practice. For hospital institutions that integrate patient reviews and testimonials on their website, receiving many negative reviews could mean that it might be the right time to consider some internal changes inside the organization.

According to a Search Advice survey, spending at least 10 minutes a week on improving your online presence and addressing reviews reduces the impact of negative reviews by up to 70%.

Therefore, it is crucial to monitor patient reviews to improve and/or maintain your search engine ranking.

Remember, patients leave positive reviews when a healthcare provider has excellent services and workplace etiquette. They leave negative reviews to those who fail to meet their expectations.

4. You can gain insight into what patients think of you.

The best way to identify internal issues that affect patient retention is through patient feedback. By soliciting patients to review their experience, from appointment scheduling to medical staff conduct, communication skills, and professionalism, you can gain insights into the quality of service your patients receive compared to what you perceive you’re providing.

By collecting and cultivating patient feedback, you have a better idea of the standing and performance of your practice and can implement necessary changes to improve your service. As mentioned above, it is crucial to prevent receiving negative reviews that significantly impact your practice. Although receiving negative feedback is inevitable, systems like Curogram can intercept a negative review before it is published.

To ensure that patient reviews are positive, you can personally ask for your patient’s feedback first before requesting them to post online reviews. This strategy helps you identify your most satisfied patients from your least happy ones who will let you know what went wrong. This will allow you to resolve the issue privately before it gets out on the internet and view by potential patients.

Instead of just asking your patients if they are satisfied with your service, you can provide specific questions about their overall patient experience to help identify and address issues.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask your patients:

  • How long did you spend booking an appointment?
  • How would you rate the friendliness of the staff?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to your family and friends?
  • What can we do to improve?
  • Do you feel the doctor provided excellent care? If not, why?

Although some patients are outspoken in giving verbal reviews, there are patients who are uncomfortable discussing feedback with their physicians. That is why online reviews are popular — patients can provide testimonials honestly and anonymously.

Listening to your patient’s feedback and responding helps improve your overall customer service and provide better patient satisfaction.

5. Patient satisfaction makes way for positive patient reviews, while unsatisfactory care can lead to negative reviews.

Positive patient reviews emerge when patients are satisfied with the service and treatment they experience with a healthcare provider. On the other hand, patients who have a less than satisfying experience tend to be more aggressive and negative on their reviews.

Collecting and acknowledging patient reviews helps patients feel they are valued. When patients provide feedback about their healthcare providers, it motivates them to be more engaged with their care experience, improving patient satisfaction. But you want to make sure to address negative reviews, so they engage further with your practice and do not leave for another.

Many factors could affect patient satisfaction. Some of them are:

  • Your staff’s attitude toward patients
  • Innovative trends that your practice adapts
  • Prices of your products and services
  • Quality of your services
  • Communication and follow-up methods

Providing extra attention to these factors and improving them helps you gain positive reviews. As for communication and follow-up methods, Curogram’s secure, 2-way text messaging system allows physicians to follow up on a patient about a treatment or see if they have any questions on medication, etc. This approach enables patients to feel appreciated and more engaged with their care.

When you respond to a patient’s feedback about their healthcare experience, you make them feel that they matter. Fully engaged and satisfied patients stimulate improved patient retention and better health outcomes.

6. Patient feedback helps improve care.

According to a Journal of Patient Experience study, a more positive patient experience rating has a significant association with lower in-hospital complications and hospital re-admissions. This research is specifically essential to medical institutions that value patient feedback and collect positive patient reviews and testimonials.

When collecting patient reviews, you and your team can determine any potential gaps in care and then monitor your progress with resolving these gaps to improve patient experience.

It is challenging to understand a patient’s overall care experience without reviews or feedback. Feedback represents how patients feel about your services. It also contributes to the future decision-making process of their healthcare.

Every medical practice needs to fulfill their patient’s healthcare expectations for top-of-the-line care outcomes, and collecting patient reviews or feedback helps you attain this.

However, it is also crucial to consider that happy patients might not leave reviews due to the following reasons:

  • Patients are too busy to set aside time to leave online reviews
  • They intend to but simply forget
  • Giving feedback to a healthcare provider never cross their mind
  • They go online to leave a review but get distracted by other activities

Asking patients to leave online reviews can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can get more positive patient reviews or five-star ratings:

  • Request reviews by texting the link to your website or Google business profile
  • Before ending a consultation, mention that patient reviews of your organization are highly recognized and appreciated
  • Collect feedback through patient satisfaction surveys sent via email or SMS and ask positive reviewers to post it online

The more you show respect to a patient’s experience with your medical practice, the more inclined they are to continue as your patient and involve themselves in their care plan.

It’s easy to collect patient reviews and feedback with Curogram.

The most valuable step in getting more positive patient reviews and improving your online ratings is implementing a system that automatically encourages online reviews from your most satisfied patients — Curogram makes all of that happen.

Curogram’s automated messaging service helps you cultivate positive reviews, leading to increased patient volume and revenue.

With Curogram, you can send HIPAA-compliant messages that include links to review sites. The system also tracks your reviews and follows up with patients who leave 4- and 5-star reviews, with links to your pages on Google Business, Yelp, Facebook, etc., to share their positive experiences. You can filter out negative feedback, which allows you to fix the situation before it gets published as a negative review.

Now more than ever, patients are interested in reading about other patient’s experiences with healthcare providers. Patient reviews have become a trusted essential tool to evaluate a physician. Ratings reflect the credibility and quality of care of medical practices.

Collecting positive patient reviews holds significant benefits to medical practice and healthcare delivery. While receiving negative patient reviews may shatter a healthcare provider’s image and reputation in the industry, affecting their patient retention.

Healthcare providers should actively monitor and support patient feedback for reasons beyond transparency and credibility, as reviews are essential and empowering for patients. Being strategic in collecting and interpreting patient reviews can lead to more happy patients, higher efficiency, and greater profitability.