How To Restore Your Reputation After A Bad Patient Review

Imagine a brand new patient enters your well-known clinic on one of your busiest days of the year, or when you are understaffed… or just when something chaotic occurs in the office. How would you expect them to feel as they walked in? Startled? Uneasy? Disgusted? Scared?

Any of those feelings could be expected of course!

However, in the heat of the moment, you most likely aren’t picking up on the subtle cues telling you that they’re uncomfortable because you are so focused on getting the next patient taken care of.

As they wait for their opportunity to check-in, the phone rings and you unknowingly give off a standoffish feeling, telling them to give you a few more minutes. At this point they are feeling like they are no longer a priority, yet they wait it out because they really need to see someone about their health. It could be mental health or physical health such as osteoporosis, stress, lower back pain, big toe numbness, and so on.

During their appointment, you provide what you feel is an accurate and honest assessment of their condition and a patient plan. From what you can tell, your new patient seems pleased and grateful for the care they receive.

A few days after they visit you, they decide to write a Google review instead of contacting you about their initial experience coming to your office. What they’ve written has thrown you completely off-guard and feels like an attack on your business as a whole despite it being well-renowned. 

What did I do to cause this negative experience? How could I have been better? Is this going to affect my practice for years to come? What will people say when they read this review? How can I get this removed?.. The list of questions you’d be asking yourself is endless if you care deeply about your business and its reputation. The impact is definitely of concern, but how you handle the situation moving forward is even more important.

The Impact of a Negative Review

Negative reviews are the last things you want to see pop through your notifications on Google MyBusiness, social media, review sites, in your email, etc. Most of the time, businesses without a reputation management strategy plan in place won’t notice the damaging claims being made until it is too late resulting in lost patients, credibility, and reputation as a whole.

To make things more difficult, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) broadly protects online service providers like social media companies and doctor rating and review websites from being held liable for transmitting or taking down user-generated content. These kinds of websites do not want to examine the facts or determine the truth of patient reviews — and they don’t have to, thanks to the CDA.

While your medical practice may seem to have the odds against them with review management, we have good news. There are options available to deal with false and defamatory reviews from angry and sometimes unstable former patients, disgruntled business partners, and even jealous ex-spouses.

Repair and Protect Your Reputation From Defamatory Claims

Your online reputation is one of your most important assets. It’s the first thing potential patients look at when they’re considering you as their physician. And it can be easily damaged by a few negative online reviews. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your online reputation and take steps to protect it.

One way to do this is to proactively manage your online reviews. Make it easy for patients to leave positive reviews by providing links on your website and in your email signature. And respond quickly and professionally to any negative reviews. This will show potential patients that you’re responsive and caring, and that you’re taking steps to protect your online reputation.

Another way to protect your online reputation is to be proactive about online reputation management. This means monitoring what’s being said about you online and taking steps to correct any misinformation. It also means regularly Google searching yourself and setting up Google Alerts for your name, so you can quickly address any false or defamatory claims that might appear online.

Internet libel cases are becoming increasingly common. Because reviewers are usually anonymous, the first step is usually to bring a “John Doe” case to unmask the identity of an anonymous poster and pursue a defamation claim against the individual. If successful, a court order will usually be issued that would compel the review site to remove the defamatory review.

This option is a costly and time-consuming process to pursue. It’s usually more advantageous to proactively seek positive reviews than wage war against a single negative review, and online reputation management companies like Reputation Rhino are uniquely suited to be able to help reduce the visibility and minimize the impact of a negative review. In rare cases, where legal action may be necessary, our team of skilled legal consultants and representatives are ready to assist.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it is possible to remove a review if the review is a violation of the copyright interest of another. The owner of the content can submit a takedown notice against a website owner and/or an Online Service Provider if the copyright owner’s property appears online without permission.

By engaging in these actions, you can begin to protect your online reputation and ensure that potential patients have the most accurate information about you when they’re making their healthcare decisions.

Strategies for Turning a Bad Review Around

No business owner wants to receive a bad review. Whether it’s an online review or a comment left by a dissatisfied customer, bad reviews can leave a lasting impression on your business. But there are some strategies you can use to turn a bad review around.

The most important strategy is actively engaging in online reputation management. This involves monitoring what is being said about your business online and taking steps to improve your online presence. This may include responding to negative reviews, promoting positive reviews, and proactively managing your social media accounts. Actively monitoring online reviews and taking steps to improve your rating is also extremely important. This includes responding to negative reviews, contacting customers who have left positive reviews, and offering incentives for customers to leave positive reviews.

Finally, it’s important to be patient and understand that not every customer will be satisfied. In the health and wellness industry,  it’s not uncommon for patients to be dissatisfied with their provider or the level of care they received. However, if you take the time to listen to your patients and address their concerns, you can turn a bad review into an opportunity to improve your reputation and business.

Leave it to The Reputation Management Experts For Help

Online reviews and their tone can shape your entire business reputation both on and off the web. Adhering to the basics we have presented here today can go a long way in preserving your online reputation in the face of a negative review. We have even gone so far as to create an Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews for you to download and read at your convenience. 

While it may be easy for some businesses to perform all that is required to successfully manage their online reputation, it can be overwhelming or even a full-time job for others; one that you just aren’t ready or willing to take on. 

We have online reputation management specialists at Reputation Rhino who dedicate their careers to partnering with practitioners to help them thrive online. Our team uses a proprietary  review management software to help identify and address any negative feedback or potential threats. By consistently monitoring online platforms and efficient responses, our team of experts can mitigate the impact bad reviews.


If you need help automating your online review response and reaction process or need to hire a team dedicated and experienced in maintaining your online presence, reach out to our reputation management experts at Reputation Rhino today. 

We have the reputation management tools and experience to monitor, respond, and repair  damaging reviews to boost your online reputation with patients.

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