Since our inception, VivioSites has been committed to helping dental practices find and attract new patients. As a part of this mission, we also strive to go above and beyond to help our clients in any way that we can. While we only recently started offering reputation management, the truth is we have been helping our clients solicit and respond to online reviews for 10 years.
While the platforms have changed over the years, there has been one constant guiding light when helping our clients respond to online reviews: STAY HIPAA COMPLIANT.
“I don’t give a .. about my bad reputation”
Reviews and referrals have always been an integral part of a practice’s success, but in today’s online world they are more important than ever. Over 80% of patients will consult a review site when choosing a medical professional. These patients are looking at not only the reviews for the practice but the response left by the provider. Patients understand that mistakes happen, and other patients may overreact but will not forgive an angry response from a medical professional.
In 2016, we officially launched reputation management as a service for our clients. We receive a notification that a new review has been received, we inform our client of the review and our planned response and post on their behalf
There are some clients who prefer to manage their review accounts and replies independently but will often seek us out for advice. Unfortunately, many practices’s reach out after already penning a response. In many cases, the response a client has written is not HIPAA compliant.
HIPAA Compliant Responses
Healthcare providers are not allowed to disclose patient information. Period. When it comes to online reviews, even acknowledging a reviewer is a patient of your practice can get you in hot water.
Even though a patient is saying publicly they are a patient of your practice this does not give a medical provider permission to confirm this fact. You cannot confirm they are a patient or discuss specific services received.
Simply put, an online review is not consent or authorization to release their protected information. Acknowledging a person is a patient is not HIPAA compliant.
Review Response Best Practices
Keep Your Cool
Do not defend your actions or try to explain items in detail. Doing so will contribute to an appearance of controversy. Instead, take a breath and come back to the review a few hours after receiving it.
Ask For Help
It is often near impossible to remain calm & impartial when your reputation is on the line. Our first instinct is to react and defend. When negative reviews are received, it is recommended you enlist the help of a trusted, impartial partner who can keep a level head and respond on your behalf.
Respond to negative AND positive reviews
Potential patients are reading all of your reviews – both positive and negative. Show them who you are in both positive and negative situations by responding to all reviews received.
Keep it Vague
When responding to a review, never release patient information or confirm that a person is, in fact, a patient of your practice. You can say “It is our policy to..” or “In a situation like yours,” or “Patients are responsible.. “