Negative patient reviews are an unfortunate reality of the healthcare industry. In today’s world, patients have more power than ever to share their experiences online, which can make it easy for negative reviews to spread quickly.

If you’re a doctor who has received a negative review, it’s important to respond in a way that not only addresses the concerns of the patient, but also protects your reputation and the reputation of your practice. Here are a few tips to help you respond to negative patient reviews online:

  1. Stay calm and professional. When responding to a negative review, it’s important to remain calm and professional. Avoid getting defensive or reacting emotionally, as this can only escalate the situation and make matters worse. Instead, take a deep breath and approach the situation with empathy and understanding.
  2. Apologise and take responsibility. If the patient’s concerns are valid, it’s important to listen, apologise and take responsibility for any mistakes that may have been made. A sincere apology can go a long way in diffusing the situation and showing the patient that you take their concerns seriously.
  3. Offer to make things right. If the patient has a legitimate complaint, offer to make things right. This could mean offering to redo a procedure for free, providing additional treatment or support, or even just listening to the patient’s concerns and addressing them directly.
  4. Monitor and manage your online reputation. In addition to responding to individual reviews, it’s important to monitor and manage your online reputation as a whole. This can include regularly checking review sites and social media platforms for any negative feedback, and taking steps to address any concerns that are raised.
  5. Seek legal advice if necessary. In some cases, a negative review may contain false or defamatory information. If this is the case, it’s important to seek legal advice on how to proceed. A lawyer can help you to protect your reputation and take appropriate action against the patient who left the review. The best place to start is to contact your medical indemnity insurance as they often provide 24/7 medico-legal support to guide you through the process.

Overall, responding to negative patient reviews can be challenging, but it’s an important part of managing your online reputation as a doctor. By staying calm, taking responsibility, and offering to make things right, you can help to diffuse the situation and protect your reputation.

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The recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.

All content on this page has been written in a generic way, and has not been presented with any knowledge of your personal objectives or financial needs.