How to Handle Negative Social Media Reviews
by Kathy Everitt
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
There is an old adage that “any advertising is good advertising” as it gets your name out. However, not so much today. Social media reviews, probably today's most prolific advertising, can drive business to you or drive it away from you.
As a risk manager, I recently reviewed the application information from a prospective insured. In addition to looking at his professional licensing information with the state licensing board and his website, I did a search on social media of reviews.
I think it makes perfect sense to see what patients are saying and compare it to what is happening in the practice. In this particular instance, the social media reviews of the practice reflected a decrease in satisfaction over the last two years.
I then compared his application information with his website, which indicated he was working at a number of different locations and performing procedures not identified on the application. He was making big promises and working extremely long hours.
Additionally, it's important to recognize that prospective patients are choosing their providers, at least in part, based on online reviews. They are searching social media to learn more about your practice.
According to www.patientengagementhit.com, 82 percent of patients use online reviews to make better care decisions. This is up from 23 percent in 2013! Now, that is some kind of growth!
We have blogged previously about how to deal with negative posts on your own practice Facebook page. Those might be the easiest reviews to handle because you know when they are posted and can deal with them immediately.
Always keep in mind you need to maintain HIPAA protocols not to identify patients. Instead, create generic statements indicating your level of care and compassion for your patient community. You can explain that it is not your policy to respond to concerns online, but that you welcome addressing concerns directly over the phone.
Finally, when it comes to sites such as Yelp and Google, you'll need to “Google” your name and practice. It might even be advisable to assign a staffer to routinely check the online review sites so you can respond to situations early.