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Responding to reviews in healthcare

There are many articles online that address responding to reviews. However, most aren’t written with healthcare and its special compliance considerations in mind. And though communication or reputation specialists often know how best to respond, self-doubt can creep in after senior leaders question you, or after you complete an annual compliance course. No one wants to be the cause of a HIPAA-violation fine!

We asked Tonya Tedrick, Reputation Monitoring Manager, where people should begin, as that can be overwhelming. Tonya stated, “In my experience working for and with health systems across the country, healthcare reviews come from a very emotional place. Consumers like to know their appreciation or dissatisfaction is heard. If you are overwhelmed with your review volume, and don’t know where to start, my advice is to start small, if you have to, and focus on Google first as it’s the most dominant search engine.”

So it’s not really as complicated as it may seem—if you don’t include protected health information in your response. On top of that, responding is an important part of a proactive reputation-management strategy, so whether your reviews are positive or negative, be sure to respond. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Google encourages responding; therefore, its ranking algorithm can be influenced by responses to reviews.
  2. Responding is an opportunity to build trust and credibility with your patients and consumers.
  3. Responding is an opportunity to turn a negative review into a positive one!

Please read this document to see some examples of review responses and to better understand the importance of responding.