Consumers of all kinds have come to trust in and rely on online review sites. They can get instant reports from people just like them about that restaurant around the corner, the hair salon they just drove past, and even their healthcare providers. While this comes with benefits for patients, it can be tricky to navigate for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Healthgrades is the most used review site for medical professionals, so we’ll talk about how to use it to manage your reputation.
What is Healthgrades?
Healthgrades is an online review site and database for doctors, hospitals, and dentists. It has data on more than 3 million healthcare providers in the US, and over 100 million users. Unlike some sites like Yelp or Google Reviews which include healthcare professional reviews with reviews of every type of business, Healthgrades is all about medicine all the time.
Healthgrades allows potential patients to search their database by practice name, specialty, location, and more. It also allows them to easily contact a medical professional who offers a procedure they need.
Physicians can claim and edit their profiles, though Healthgrades creates them itself from commercially available and government services. Once your profile is claimed, you can add photos and qualifications, information about the services your practice offers, and ways to schedule appointments.
Healthgrades gathers review information from patients by asking them to fill out a survey. The survey asks them about their experience with the doctor, office, and staff, the wait time, and if they would recommend the doctor to their friends and family.
How to Use HealthGrades
If you’re a doctor and you’re not already using Healthgrades, you should be. That’s because patients can leave reviews of your care whether or not you’re using the platform yourself. You need to claim your profile so that you can add accurate information and content on Healthgrades. This will allow you to manage your reviews and feedback from patients in a timely fashion.
Claiming and editing your profile on Healthgrades is free, though they also offer an advertising option. As long as you’re listed in the National Provider Identity Registry, you should already have a profile on the site that you just need to claim.
Healthgrades is based primarily on reviews of individual doctors, not for practices as a whole. But if you work in a large practice and would like to update information for all the doctors in your practice at once, you can contact the Healthgrades support center and send them a spreadsheet of information to enter for each practitioner.
Managing Healthgrades Reviews
Dealing with Negative Reviews
Healthgrades does not allow doctors to respond directly to negative reviews. Since patient reviews are in the form of a survey, even responding directly to positive reviews is not possible. However, you can post a general response to surveys to respond to feedback. Removing negative reviews is only possible if they’re inaccurate or don’t follow the Healthgrades community guidelines, and you will need to contact Healthgrades directly to see if you can remove the review.
Healthgrades doesn’t allow doctors to pay to promote positive reviews or to remove negative reviews. This is meant to protect the integrity of the site – but it can leave you with an influx of unfairly negative reviews. After all, people are more likely to take the time to write about a negative experience than a positive one.
Balance Negative Reviews with Positive Ones
But that doesn’t mean you should give up on online review management to protect your reputation. You can encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews on Healthgrades by sending post-visit patient emails with a link to your Healthgrades profile. Healthgrades will also send you postcards with the url of your Healthgrades profile that you can hand out to patients at the end of their visit. By encouraging patients who are very satisfied with their diagnosis and treatment to leave you reviews, you will steadily increase the percentage of positive surveys and boost your reputation.
You can also use those negative Healthgrades surveys as a learning experience. Are you regularly seeing the same negative comments come back about an aspect of your practice, like long wait times, confusing bills, or slow follow-up? These can be great ideas for opportunities to improve. With time and a commitment to constant improvement, your Healthgrades reviews will get better and better.
Digital Marketing for Medical Professionals
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