Word of mouth has gone virtual. Online reviews are playing a more significant role in a patient’s decision to choose an independent physician. In the case of direct primary care (DPC) practices, patients who want to learn more not only about the physician but about the practice model itself will go online to see what others are saying.
When patients leave positive reviews, that certainly helps a DPC practice. The reality is, however, that most people only leave reviews for a business when they are dissatisfied with their experience. It’s just human nature. How can a DPC practice encourage positive reviews and how should it manage all patient reviews, to get the most out of them?
The first step in generating positive reviews for the DPC practice is to give the patient the highest quality care and to show appreciation to that patient. It is also human nature to remember the last thing said or the last interaction. Ensuring that patients are satisfied as they walk out the door will help increase the number of positive reviews for the DPC practice.
Primary care physician Napoleon Maminta, MD, says that “Garnering a high rating is automatic so long as you spend the time to get to know your patient, listen to their issues, provide multiple options for treatment, stay knowledgeable and up to date in your area of expertise, and communicate.”
The next step is to ask for a review. Garrett Smith, CEO of InboundMD says, “When asked, most patients will leave an online review. This means you must consistently ask patients for reviews in order to get more reviews online over time.” Incorporate the request into the check-out process or automate it as part of email follow-up. Respond with appreciation to those positive reviews!
Negative reviews should be seen as opportunities to improve the DPC practice. Whether to respond to a negative review may depend on how it is presented and if it truly appears to be valid. Sometimes it actually backfires to stoke a negative fire. However, a positive word about the practice’s efforts to provide quality care for all of its patients can go a long way toward managing negative reviews!