Why You Shouldn't Fear Patient Reviews
Why You Shouldn't Fear Patient Reviews
January 9, 2020 by Kenechi Chiemelu


As a healthcare provider, if you’re not aware of the nuances of digital marketing, then the concept of online reviews can seem like your biggest adversary. 

This article intends to debunk that thought process so you can remove that limiting mentality.

Online Reviews… Oh no!

Let’s break it down, bit by bit. In our era of digitized social networks, it’s not really the online aspect of patient reviews that terrify physicians, but how defamation can easily spread to outside circles. Each potential comment is like a tidal wave of anxiety for the ‘modern doc’.

I mean, from a doctor’s perspective, you’re meeting with a complete stranger who has the power to positively or negatively impact your image. Either way, you will treat them to the best of your ability but you still feel a bit anxious. And from the patient’s perspective, you’re meeting with a complete stranger and, quite literally, putting your life in their hands.

Ultimately, a bad review might seem terrible. It might even leave a bad taste in your mouth. But I can assure you that it isn’t this: another stranger popping up out of nowhere and telling your potential clients that you are a quack, a charlatan, a witch-doctor... you get the idea. Reviews, good or bad, are incredibly important, period.

Why Are Both Good & Bad Patient Reviews Important?

Because you will eventually get a bad patient review… which is fantastic! Why is that fantastic? Well, you get to learn a little more about the psychology of people. It is far easier for people to forget how much weight is behind their words when saying it online. 

More so, it’s easier to forget how the discomfort of their illness can affect their perception of the service. This doesn’t invalidate anyone’s frustrations though. But it is necessary to see that concerns like “my questions weren’t answered”, “my medication costs are too high”, or outside events, like parking or the waiting time, can exasperate a person’s experience based on how sick they’re feeling.  I know I can speak for others when I say that whenever I’m feeling sick, I fail to realize that our doctors are human beings who are just as stressed (if not more) as myself.

There’s Always Room For One More!

As a physician, you're trained to be an empathetic shoulder to lean on. The very nature of reviews means that sometimes you’ll do a great job and other times, you must develop your bedside skills. Hearing those concerns can allow you to make necessary improvements… maybe not with the parking, but in other areas. For instance, your office could be a bit more organized, the ‘walk-in’ hours could be updated, patients could be informed of a waiting period beforehand, and so forth.  

Some doctors might think, “well, that’s not entirely fair, I see at least 20 - 25 patients a day, so I can’t always be my best”. And sir/ma’am, you are absolutely right. But spending a bit of time to let your patients see your empathetic side will let them understand that you don’t have to be your best to care about them. Being calm, recognizing your limits, and addressing those negative reviews in a kind way can spark a change.


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