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Internet and the Healthcare Industry: How to Deal with Negative Reviews Online

In today’s era of social media, and global connections, reviews can make or break a reputation. Gone are the days when recommendations were made via phone or in-person and the potential patient resorted to experimenting. Now, as per a survey from Bright Local, 88% of the individuals blindly trust the reviews given online.

Whilst this means that good ratings and top reviews can boost the clinic’s popularity and attract new patients, it also means that bad reviews can permanently position the doctor or clinic negatively in the patient’s mind.

In the USA, telemedicine is being adapted rapidly due to the following factors: with the lockdown and curfew intact, patients are seeking help online. Unless there is an emergency, individuals do not want to go to hospitals and clinics for the fear of contracting the virus. The government has eased the standards by allowing telemedicine practice by health care providers without a telehealth license for now.

Furthermore, sick leaves can be issued through video and audio consultations, and medicines (except narcotics and controlled substances) can be prescribed through online visits as well. Patients can receive treatment from the comfort of their homes all thanks to a stable internet connection that both the patient and the doctor are required to have. 

A good internet bundle entails that the audio or video call is not disrupted and the telehealth appointment goes by smoothly. So, if you are looking for an outstanding internet connection go to your web browser, search for internet providers near me and pick an option with the best internet plan that delivers in your area.

With doctors and clinics adjusting to the virtual medical realm, patient satisfaction has become even more necessary. Whilst many may think that without a face-to-face appointment, chances of a great review may decrease, the case is the opposite. Research has found that online appointments achieve more patient satisfaction.

You can offer state-of-the-art services, have a courteous staff, a remarkable doctor, and great application usability, but still, get a negative review. It is because these things can be lessened, they are inevitable. If you ever stumble across an unpleasant review, here is what you should do:

Do not overreact

Do not react at once. Take your time. It is normal to get offended or feel emotional but that is not the way to go. Sit down and thoroughly evaluate the comment without jotting down your first reaction. The purpose is to be calm, collected, and respectful in your reply. Always try to maintain a professional tone.

Try reading things from a different perspective

Understand the patient’s perspective. Sometimes the patient is having a bad day, other times, your practice can improve its clinical operations. Has the problem been reported multiple times? Can it be solved at once? Can anything be done to prevent this type of complaint? You should then look into it and see if effort needs to be made to alter anything from the clinic’s end. Review the patient’s experience.

Reach out to the patients

Reach out to the patient publicly and privately. Publicly, the comment should be replied to so that other people know that you are courteous and that you care about your patients. Privately, you should discuss the problem with the patient and make sure that you do not lose him/her. 

Always try to make it up, retain the patient, and never ask the patient to take the review down. Do not argue or get defensive. Choose correct wording to get your point across. Be empathetic, to the point, and avoid excuses. Remember to not get carried away and give out the patient’s details in the reply. Describe the relevant changes that you will work on and promise a better experience.

Identify fake reviews

Pay close attention. Fake reviews exist! Make sure to take out time for the actual ones, and not the ones that make little to no sense. If you keep on getting those, set a filter, or if you are outsourcing the review page, contact the review site. Try to give your energy to the reviews coming from actual people and ensure them better facilities in the future.

Work on your online presence

Have a strong online presence. Always answer the reviews on time. Make sure to have an online blog, FAQ page, or some sort of updated social platform, which you can link to your replies. Ask your patients to follow you, and request feedback. Have a properly trained staff, just like customer service representatives, to respond to the patients on time and help them with their queries.

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Wrapping it up 

Remember, it is better to know the problems of the patient’s experience rather than not know why they are dissatisfied at all. Some negative reviews help improve, whilst others can be forgotten like a bad day. Retaining patients is an art, and dealing with negative reviews without losing them is a major part of it. 

Patients’ reviews, be they positive or negative, are a great way to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your healthcare system. Now, if you are working on having a high-rated telemedicine performance, it is essential to know how to react to negative feedback online. So, connect to high-speed internet service and start working on the negative reviews. That is all for today, stay tuned for more insightful articles.

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