3 Steps to Great Patient Reviews (Grow your Practice)

The healthcare industry has undergone a significant transformation over the years, and patient expectations have grown in parallel. In today’s consumer-driven healthcare setting, patients expect high standards of care, and rightly so. After all, they are paying for healthcare services and want to ensure that they are receiving the best possible care for their money. To determine this, they conduct extensive research online before selecting a provider.

As a result, healthcare providers must focus on delivering exceptional care that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of their patients. By doing so, providers can earn positive reviews from satisfied patients, which can help attract more patients to their practice.

In this guide, we’ll cover the right ways to gain great patient reviews 

  • Enhance patient satisfaction
  • Get your care team on board
  • Encourage your patients to review your medical practice  
  • Motivate staff to gather great reviews
  • Find a system that showcases/publishes your success
  • Develop a system that keeps it all running smoothly

Importance of Practice Reputation Management   

Consumer trends have shown that 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate the physician, and 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. The writing is on the wall: if you don’t have a strong online presence backed by glowing online reviews, your practice growth could suffer for it.  

When healthcare marketing comes directly from your patients, your medical practice quickly becomes the trusted reference point for potential patients. When potential new patients find your practice online and see a string of positive reviews posted by previously satisfied patients, these positive words of encouragement communicate that you are a patient-centric provider who prioritizes patient experience and exceptional care. Laying the foundation of trust before a patient ever steps inside your practice is critical to achieving practice growth.  

Now you know the why, but what about the how? Many medical groups are competing for patient attention, and those patients are relentlessly distracted by scores of digital noise. Attracting new patients is challenging and time-consuming, but it’s not impossible. With a little practice insight, some patient experience, and the right technology to support your team, your waiting room will be full before you know it.

Step 1 – Deliver the BEST Patient Experience 

Pay attention because this is THE most important step in converting great patient care into great reviews and referrals. You want to compel your patients to rave about your practice. How do you do that? By elevating your care standards and honing in on the patient’s journey. Enhancing the patient’s experience can be done in many ways. First, consider each step of the patient’s journey to identify which interactions you can improve.

the healthcare patient journey

  1. Is your information easy to find?

    It should be quick and easy for potential patients to find your medical practice information. This includes details related to your specialty, location, contact details, hours of operation, and whether or not you are accepting new patients. The consumer-minded patient is not going to hunt for this information. Remove roadblocks so that this first step in the patient journey is simple and clear.

  2. How easily can a patient schedule an appointment?

    Additional factors include how easily a patient can schedule an appointment, whether by phone or on your website, and how soon they can reasonably expect to be seen by a practitioner.

  3. How are first interactions handled?

    Ensure positive phone interactions between patients and staff and courteous email communications when confirming appointments. Do new patients know how to find your office, where to park, and how to navigate your building?

  4. How do you handle workflow bottlenecks?

    Determining inefficiencies in your practice operations is key to reducing workflow bottlenecks and ensuring the patient experience is hassle-free. Essential aspects include identifying tasks that take too long to complete or upgrading your practice management software to increase productivity. Review each team member’s workload and decide whether you need additional staff or your existing team needs further training support in certain areas. Removing bottleneck barriers to great care is an optimization that will not go unnoticed.

  5. What is your intake process like?

    Once patients have arrived at your practice, ensure each in-office interaction is optimized to make the patient feel welcome and at ease. A receptionist who acknowledges the patient – even if they are busy – a comfortable waiting area and a friendly, inviting atmosphere all go a long way in reducing a patient’s anxiety, ultimately enhancing the patient’s journey.

  6. Are good communication habits built into clinical processes?

    When the patient reaches the exam room, emphasizing clear communication is an optimal way to continue building upon a top-tier experience. Fostering open discussion, shared decision-making, and transparency throughout your interactions. Additionally, you can further show that you value your patient’s time by minimizing idle time in the exam room. Each of these touchpoints is an easy win regarding patient satisfaction and will go a long way toward ensuring a meaningful and trustworthy relationship is formed and great care is provided.

Step 2. Get the Entire Team Onboard

You’re all in this together when it comes to achieving high patient reviews, patient loyalty, and referrals. Here’s the truth: Every single person on your practice team has the power to impact each patient experience positively. They also have the power to disrupt that journey.   

Your clinical staff already knows the value of good patient reviews and how their role impacts the online “health score” of your practice. But do your administrators, secretaries, or billing experts know that their roles also contribute to the overall energy within your practice?  

Be direct and clear about your intentions to set the standard for patient care. Ensure that every staff member, from the physician to the receptionist, understands the goal: to gain great practice reviews by enhancing the patient experience.

how a healthcare team impacts the patient experience

Here are some ways each team member can help enhance patient care:


Each receptionist should know how to prioritize a positive patient encounter. Whether in face-to-face interactions or over the phone, the conversation should remain HIPAA-compliant, professional, and focused on the patient. 

If the receptionist is needed but away from the front desk, and a patient is seen standing alone, waiting, any of your front office staff should feel empowered to step in regardless of whether it falls within their job function.  

Front office staff should offer the patient undivided attention and help with the patient’s next step, such as getting signed in, processing a co-pay, setting a follow-up appointment, or contacting the appropriate colleague for further assistance. These are small but powerful ways to show patients that prompt, consistent care is your utmost concern.


Often overlooked, the back-office team, such as billing and coding specialists, records specialists, or administrative staff, can contribute significantly to the patient experience. 

In the billing department, individuals must demonstrate extra care and consideration when discussing statements and balances with patients. Money is universally a delicate subject, and when it comes to the cost of medical care, combined with misunderstandings or changes in benefits and coverages, billing department professionals have to remain neutral and helpful, even if patients are unhappy with the result.  

Medical billing specialists can be most helpful by processing requests accurately and promptly.


Nurses and medical assistants spend the most time one-on-one with patients – often even more so than the physicians themselves. Team members in these roles need to keep in mind that although they see patients all day, every day, medical care is a very personal experience unique to each patient. 

Whether the reason for the visit is serious or routine, you must set the tone and develop a foundation of trust and connection. Answer patients’ questions sincerely, return their calls promptly, and exhibit patience and compassion at every encounter.  

Ensuring all staff is on the same page when prioritizing excellent patient care and, subsequently, patient review processes will allow you to streamline the approach and maximize the effects of generating positive online reviews.

Step 3. Encourage Patients to Leave Feedback

Complementary to delivering stellar patient care is encouraging your patients to leave reviews where they will likely be seen. Patients appreciate popular review sites offering reputable, high-visibility online resources for the comprehensive information provided about physicians.

the best review sites for doctors

Ensuring patients have essential details such as practitioner experience, location, availability, reviews, and more is the driving force behind platforms. With millions of patient users accessing these sites daily to find doctors and book appointments, your practice should be part of networks like these that offer a vital opportunity to strengthen your reputation and attract new patients. If your practice isn’t registered with either of these websites, it’s highly recommended that you join as soon as possible. You’ll need to take ownership of creditable online spaces to help your practice thrive.

Sign Up For Reputable Review Sites

Fortunately, the process of signing up your medical practice with each of these websites is basic and straightforward. To sign up for a Healthgrades account, visit their account registration page, complete the remaining fields, and choose ‘register now.’ To claim or create a ZocDoc profile, head to their joining page and review your pricing options. Then, complete the ‘Join ZocDoc‘ form and wait for the confirmation page to notify you that an authorized representative will be in touch for your free demo.

The crowd-sourced review site Yelp may also be beneficial due to its widespread familiarity among well-informed consumers. Yelp’s platform permits reviews of all kinds, and practice managers cannot remove reviews that don’t paint the practice in the greatest light.

Instead of this being a reason to dread a negative review, it could be used to your advantage. Most Yelp users know and appreciate that the site won’t remove a bad review, so if a potential patient sees that all your Yelp reviewers have left you five stars, they’ll know the rating is genuine.

Don’t Be Afraid of Bad Reviews!

On the flip side, imagine you do receive a negative review. Being prepared for this inevitability will help you take it in stride. Tactful responses to negative reviews are something savvy consumer-minded patients look for.

This could be a great opportunity to show both the reviewer and potential new patients you take patient experiences seriously.

Interpret the review simply as neutral feedback. Use your reply as an opportunity to reframe your practice as one that cares about every patient, even if they didn’t feel their experience was reason enough to leave a highly rated review.

Motivate Staff to Gather Those Great Reviews

While it is never recommended that you incentivize patients to provide favorable reviews, incentives can be a highly effective way to motivate your staff to elicit them. Team incentive programs based on the number of review requests sent out or positive reviews obtained would depend on your operational preferences; just be sure to implement safeguards to maintain the program’s integrity.

Actual patients (not staff’s friends or family members) should leave reviews to qualify your team for employee incentives. Once the goal is met, the reward should be something everyone can enjoy, like an office party or a special group night out.

Develop a System to Keep it All Running Smoothly

On the operational side, develop a process for obtaining patient reviews. The simplest, most direct way to do this is to assign the check-out staff to ask patients for reviews on their way out. However, plenty of other techniques exist if this method interrupts your practice’s workflow.

three ways to get patient reviews

  • Start With a Follow-up Email 

Try including review requests in the appointment follow-up email. When the automated follow-up email goes out to the patient, messaging can be customized to request a review of their care.

Add the patient’s first name to personalize the request, thank them for their time, and include a direct link to your preferred review platform. Including a sample review in the email can be helpful so your patients get a sense of what you’re looking for when they get to the review site.

  • Include a Reminder on your Website

Adding a review link on your practice website is an easy, efficient way to create an additional channel for positive patient reviews. While your patient is already setting an appointment, paying a bill, or accessing their medical records, they can also use the convenient link to offer feedback on their recent experience.

To remind your patients that your practice values reviews, place the link in a place of high visibility on the website, such as a banner, sidebar, or page that receives a lot of traffic.

  • Ask your Social Media Followers to Participate

Social media is a great way for practices to market themselves, interact with patients outside the office, and receive great patient feedback. Many patients already spend time on social media, so it makes perfect sense to provide practice updates, answer health questions, and engage with them on these platforms.

If you have patients who regularly interact with your posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, consider asking them if they’d mind leaving you a review. Create a post that links them directly to your practice website or preferred review site.

REMEMBER: You’ll need to share this request more than once, so feel free to re-post. Algorithms and busy followers mean not every review request will be seen, so test engagement and response by sharing your posts on different days and times.

Regardless of the platform, capturing a satisfactory patient review can be quick and easy if you utilize patient experience software like Breeze. Obtaining the review can be as simple as designating a tablet at or near the check-out desk, with a review application already installed and waiting for input.

By acting on the momentum of the first-rate care they just received, this technique makes it easy for delighted patients to leave positive feedback about your practice while taking very little of their time or effort.


In today’s patient-centric digital age, the best way to attract new patients is to nurture a diverse supply of great reviews. Poor reviews, or worse – no reviews – can keep your practice from growing and thriving by making it look sketchy or untrustworthy to online users. Providing excellent care worthy of rave reviews and incorporating patient review processes into your practice operations are two important factors in developing a sustainable pipeline of positive online reviews.

One of the main reasons people refrain from giving reviews even when they are happy with the service is that the reviewing procedure is frustrating and too long. When you encourage delighted patients to contribute, make it as seamless and convenient as possible. You’ll be well on your way to practice growth and success by converting great patient care into great patient reviews.

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