Bad reviews are unavoidable and costly. Prepare for them with scripts to help you respond in the moment. Give them to your staff or keep them by your phone. Always respond by calling first. Then, acknowledge the comment in the same place they appear online, (i.e. Google, Facebook, Yelp).
Why do I need scripts for bad patient reviews?
1. Limit overreaction
After a busy day, a bad patient review can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Pre-approved scripts allow you and your staff to respond rationally and stay on-brand.
2. Prevent HIPAA violations
ProPublica found 3,500 one-star bad patient reviews on Yelp in which patients mention “privacy” or “HIPAA”. Don’t become another headline by disclosing something online that inadvertently acknowledges doctor-patient relationship. One hospital in California was fined $275,000 for disclosing patient information in response to a complaint.
3. Reduce malpractice risk
You can’t prevent lawsuits. But you can mitigate risks. Regardless of fault, when a patient is already frustrated a hasty response to a bad review can make a bad situation worse. Be careful not to admit fault in social channels, as it can be held against you in court. Instead, simply acknowledge or apologize for how the patient feels. These scripts provide some examples. Leave anything more to a formal and private channel.
4. Scripts are fast
When things get busy at the practice, a script can save the day. Often, healthcare providers won’t respond to bad patient reviews because they are too busy. Instead of wasting minutes thinking up a response, use a template. You can easily modify these scripts for your needs by replacing the [NAME] and contact information. Use a different script for every negative review.
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