Primary Care Blog
Existing and potential patients can do more than ask friends and family about you and your practice. Now they can go online and read what others are saying about you. Interestingly enough, you can have an element of control on your reputation. It is true that you can’t control everything said about you, but you can set the scale of favorable vs. unfavorable comments in your favor with more positive comments than negative ones.
Most online directories allow users to leave reviews about their experience with you and your practice or businesses that they have had an experience with. It is as easy of just asking for a favorable review. You can ask for reviews in a polite way. If a patient mentions something of worth or value, ask them if they would submit their comment to the review site. Make it easy for them and provide them with the URL of the review site so they can paste it into their browser and easily make a favorable comment. You can also start with patients in your database that you deem likely to make a positive comment about your practice.
An easy way is to send patients a post-appointment follow up E-mail requesting a review. You can thank the patient for coming in, ask them if they have any comments or questions for you, and end by asking for a review.
A sample E-mail to a patient you just saw might be: “We appreciate your choosing us for your medical needs. We always strive to provide you with outstanding service and see you in a timely fashion. We also want to assure you access to our practice with same day or next day appointments for your urgent or emergency needs. We would like you to share your experience with others by leaving a review with XXXX.com. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on your next visit.
Bottom Line: Online reputation management is going to be an important aspect of any medical practice. Move the balance of the scale in your favor by requesting positive reviews. It’s easy. Remember, “ask and you shall receive!”
Neil Baum, MD
Neil Baum, MD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Urology, Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, LA, and author of Marketing Your Clinical Practice: Ethically, Effectively, and Economically, Jones Bartlett Publishers. He is also author of Social Media For The Healthcare Profession, Greenbranch Publishing, 2011. He blogs at http://neilbaum.wordpress.com/