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Importance Of Reputation Management In Healthcare

By ||Published On: February 8th, 2022||Categories: FQHC, Healthcare Marketing||

In healthcare, reputation management is just as, if not more, important than exceptional patient care. Your online reviews are an opportunity for current patients to share their experiences, both good and bad, and for prospective patients to learn more about the level of care and compassion they can expect to receive. 

Relying on peer experiences more and more each year, up to 81% of patients consider online reviews when selecting a healthcare provider. Helping patients to reduce anxiety and prepare for their healthcare visit, online reviews and testimonials can also help to increase the profile of physicians affiliated with your center. 

Review Your Reviews

It is important to monitor your online reputation to understand what patients are saying about your Community Health Center, and take the opportunity to thank patients for favorable reviews, while responding to those whose experience was less than stellar. For many patients, their decision to visit or avoid a particular practice has more to do with the doctor-patient relationship than the location of the facility. 

Statistics show that it only takes 1-6 reviews before a potential patient forms an opinion about your practice, with 84% of people trusting reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. As a provider, it is important that your Federally Qualified Health Center acquires and manages their online reviews to stay engaged within their community. In addition to fostering relationships as a provider that is approachable and committed to excellence in patient care, responding to reviews will help to boost your Center’s SEO rankings and widen your outreach to prospective patients.

The Big Ask

We all know the most difficult part of reputation management is the Big Ask. Asking patients for reviews can be an intimidating process for some, but if it becomes a part of your patient care process and your marketing strategy, you can overcome that intimidation or awkwardness and establish your reviews as another open line of communication between patient and provider. 

How to encourage patients to leave reviews

  • Ask when receiving praise. Letting patients know that their feedback is valuable during the check-out process allows your patients to leave your center with a favorable impression.  
  • Hand out instructions. Some patients may not be familiar with leaving reviews, so a simple step-by-step can help increase responses.
  • Send a follow-up. Whether it’s an email, text or postcard, there are several different avenues for sending a short and sweet message thanking your patients and asking for feedback. Bonus points for communication includes a link where they can leave their review.
  • Add a link on your website. Making it easy for patients to locate reviews also encourages them to share their experiences.

Respond to reviews

Letting patients know that both their praise and their critiques are heard reinforces your commitment to communication. Don’t let it stop there, though. Take action to address critiques in a positive manner.

All it takes is one or two negative reviews to sour the impression you’re making on a potential patient. No one is perfect, but recognizing areas for improvement and implementing strategies to address their concerns is important. 

How do you do that? Educate staff on the importance of reviews and set aside a specific time to read and respond. Developing a strategy to respond to reviews allows you to communicate with your patients and further market your Center. Just as a negative review can have an adverse reaction on your online reputation, addressing these concerns and gathering positive reviews can boost your overall ratings. 

Let’s Get Started!

If you have not been taking the time to manage your FQHC’s online reputation, then now’s the time to start. We all know that the internet never forgets, so establishing a consistent communication platform will only help your patients in the long run. 

Strategy Meeting

Looking for additional help?

For Federally Qualified Health Centers featuring a varied patient base, diversified strategies allow your center to thrive as it provides care to entire communities. You don’t have to do it alone! At Firefly Marketing, we offer a variety of strategies as your online reputation partner. 

About the Author: Lauren Tumminello

Account Manager – Like a glass of champagne, Lauren’s bubbly personality quickly brightens any conversation. As an account manager, Lauren is skilled at breaking down the big picture into a frame-by-frame solution tailored to each client’s goals and dreams. Eternally optimistic, her approach to problem-solving centers on prioritizing wants and needs on a human scale, making her a strong marketing partner.

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