patient reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction to patient reviews

Patient reviews are the ratings and feedback that patients leave for a healthcare provider or practice after availing of treatment. These reviews help potential patients make informed decisions when choosing the most suitable healthcare facility for their care.

Patient reviews also help healthcare practices identify gaps and areas of improvement, address shortcomings, and improve the overall patient experience.  

As a healthcare practitioner, you need to constantly focus on what your patients say about you and utilize their suggestions to provide better services. Here’s an example of a patient review: 

patient reviews

If you closely look at this review, you’ll notice that the patient has talked about the doctor making the patient comfortable, going above and beyond to help her, and showing sincere concern. Now if a person who is looking for a healthcare practice for treatment comes across this review, they will definitely consider this practice as this patient review is detailed and downright honest. 

That’s how patient reviews work. They draw visitors towards them and build awareness and consideration. 

Why are patient reviews important?

Patient reviews are important for several reasons: 

  1. Help Identify problem areas: Patient reviews help give a firsthand account of various aspects of patient experience such as wait times, quality of care, doctor-patient communication, treatment outcomes, and staff attitude. These further help identify areas of strength and weakness for healthcare providers and prompts them to take the necessary steps. 
  2. Empower patients: Patient reviews act as a platform for patients to talk about their experiences of visiting a healthcare facility, share what they liked about the doctor/practice, and highlight the areas that need improvement. This helps the patient feel empowered as they are sharing their experiences that will help others make informed choices. 
  3. Promote transparency: Patients have the platform to express their satisfaction and dissatisfaction publicly. This promotes transparency and allows potential patients to better understand if a particular medical facility will work well for a problem they are currently facing.  
  4. Enhance online reputation: Patient reviews help healthcare organizations improve their online reputation. Considering that a large percentage of people refer to online patient reviews before availing care, it is important that all healthcare providers garner as many reviews as possible for their practice. When they have more reviews, they will attract the attention of potential patients, which will result in higher patient acquisition rates and more revenue. 
  5. Promote continuous improvement: Patient reviews help providers identify emerging trends, areas of concern, and patients’ preferences. These also help practices identify areas where they can apply the latest technologies to improve care and overall patient satisfaction. This further promotes innovation and allows healthcare providers to stay on top of changing patient expectations.

Astonishingly, 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors. Getting positive patient reviews thus becomes important for every doctor or practice. But before we dive deeper into strategies and best practices, let us understand the patient journey in detail. 

How do Patient Reviews impact new patient acquisition?

let’s look at a usual patient Journey for anyone who might be looking to consult a doctor

Stage-1: Bob, who lives in New York, faces an illness or injury, and to get the best quality care, he does a Google search, typing a query like this: ‘Dentist near me’. Upon hitting ‘ENTER’, Bob comes across a list of doctors in his vicinity. 

Google listing

Stage-2: When Bob comes across his list of options to pick from, the first thing he checks is the reviews of the practice that is ranked the highest. Then he also checks other review platforms such as Healthgrades and Facebook for provider reviews. 

Stage-3: If he likes the reviews left by the past patients and thinks that the provider will be able to address his concerns, he goes ahead and books an appointment. 

Stage-4: After booking the appointment, he gets a confirmation text a day before the appointment, which he acknowledges. 

Stage-5: He shows up on the day of the appointment, waits for a while, interacts with the nurse for his vitals and medical history, and then finally meets the doctor. 

Stage-6: After availing of the treatment, Bob leaves a review on Google / Yelp/ Facebook/ Healthgrades sharing his experience. 

Stage-7: He returns for a follow-up appointment. 

From this patient journey, it is clear that Bob finalized a dental clinic after going through the reviews on different review platforms. This is basic patient behaviour. If your practice is not rated well you immediately fall out of Bob’s consideration set hence for continuously driving more organic leads to your practice patient reviews and your digital reputation is extremely important. 

Interesting fact – 

Research shows that 77% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor or healthcare provider. This means that even if they receive a personal recommendation, they are likely to conduct further research by checking reviews.


As a healthcare provider, make sure that you appear in your potential patient’s search results by using keywords that most patients search for. If you’re wondering why, then take a look at the image below: 

google search

Here, the average monthly searches represent the number of people who use these keywords in a month. Imagine what wonders it’ll do to your profile if you incorporate these keywords. 

Also, make sure to check your listing on Google Maps and search for your local search results. If your name appears in the listing, work on optimizing it. If it doesn’t appear, it is time that you create a listing and amp up your online game. 

This is how a local Google Business listing would look like: 

local business listing google

Interesting fact – 
The first three organic search results on Google receive the majority of clicks from users. Studies have shown that the first position receives about 30% of clicks, the second position receives around 15%, and the third position receives roughly 10%.

How to generate more patient reviews: 9 actionable strategies

Here are some actionable strategies that will help you generate 3X more reviews: 

Deliver the best patient experience

This goes without saying: you will be able to garner positive reviews for your practice only if you deliver an exceptional patient experience. This includes making the appointment booking process easier, reducing wait times, training your staff to treat patients with courtesy, understanding their concerns, making your patients feel comfortable, patiently listening to their queries, and offering them every kind of support they need to improve their health. 

All of these things constitute the patient experience. If your patients are satisfied with your service, not only will they be encouraged to leave a review, but they will also recommend you to their friends and family. Moreover, they will consult you for all their future healthcare needs.

Personalize review requests

Whenever you send out review requests to your customers, it’s important to personalize the message to some extent. 

Here’s an example: ‘Hey Anna, thank you for visiting Shine Dental. We hope you were satisfied with your Dental Implant procedure. We would love to hear about your experience. Please leave us a review by clicking on this link. Have a great day!’

In this message, highlighting the patient’s name and details of the procedure are key elements. Personalizing the message for all your patients will make them feel valued and encourage them to leave a review. 

Make it super easy for patients to leave reviews

Imagine you went to a dental clinic, and your dentist asked you to leave a review for them. You opened the link and had to follow a 5-step process that took you 10 minutes. Wouldn’t you feel frustrated? Therefore, it is important to ensure that when you send out review requests to your patients, the process of leaving a review should not be cumbersome or frustrating. 

Simply provide them with a link that they can click on, share their experience, and submit. A review request with just 2 steps will be better received than a request with too many intricacies. 

Ask for reviews in-person

Another great way to ask for patient reviews is to prompt them right after the appointment. Rather than asking immediately, wait a couple of minutes to ensure they’re comfortable, and just as they’re about to leave, inquire if they would like to leave a review. You can provide review cards, offer a patient survey form, or share a link for them to give a review. 

Engage with online health communities

Your goal should be to deliver the best care while also improving your online reputation along the way. A great way to achieve this is by actively engaging with health communities online. Explore all relevant online communities, offer assistance, share success stories, and invite your past patients to share their experiences with your practice. Not only will it enhance your presence within the community, but it will also help you garner more reviews. 

Create a review wall in your waiting room

Another way to capture the attention of your patients is by printing out existing reviews and displaying them on a dedicated wall in your waiting room. You can call it the ‘Review Wall’. This will showcase your practice in a positive light, and by featuring past patients for sharing their feedback, it may encourage your current patients to leave reviews as well. Always remember to acknowledge reviews in some way, as it makes your patients feel valued.

Run drip campaigns

Your patients may not always address or respond to your review requests. They might forget about it or simply choose not to leave a review. In such cases, drip campaigns work best. You can send a series of review requests via text at different times. 

For example, the first review request can be sent right after the appointment, the second can be sent the next day, and the third can serve as a follow-up reminder sent the following day. Always define the cadence of sending these messages carefully and avoid overwhelming the patient.  

Use automation to save time

Sending review requests manually can be a cumbersome task. To efficiently reach out to your customers for reviews without spending excessive time, it is important to implement automation. For this purpose, you will need text messaging software that can handle your messaging requirements.

Emitrr, for example, is an excellent messaging tool that enables you to effortlessly send out review-generation campaigns with just a few clicks.

Express genuine intent to garner feedback

Your review requests should convey a genuine intention to seek feedback and improve as a practice. You can educate your patients about how their reviews can serve as valuable information for potential patients when selecting a healthcare provider or practice. Additionally, you can send out patient satisfaction surveys to gather feedback on various aspects of care, including wait times, doctor-patient relations, quality of care, hygiene, and more. This approach will make your patients feel that their opinions matter and will likely lead to them leaving reviews.

Case study: How Mary Tilak and Associates aced their review generation game

One of our customers, a medical practice, faced challenges in acquiring patients due to their minimal online presence. They had an average star rating of 3 out of 5 and fewer than 20 reviews. However, they decided to take a new approach by integrating text messaging into their review generation process. As a result, they experienced a remarkable 15X growth in reviews for both of their locations.

Currently, they have accumulated over 450 reviews for each of their locations and have successfully built a robust business pipeline over the past couple of months.

patient reviews

They succeeded by sending review requests to their patients (while also determining the frequency of those requests), responding to reviews from a single inbox, and tracking the performance of their review campaigns. They also made it a point to respond to the reviews they received.

Best practices for patient reviews

In addition to making the required efforts to generate enough patient reviews, it is also important to manage the reviews. Here are some best practices to help you do that:

Automate your review responses

When you have a large influx of reviews, manually responding to each one becomes practically impossible. In such cases, you can automate your responses to efficiently manage the volume. To seamlessly handle review responses, it is important to choose a platform that enables automation based on the rating, whether it’s a 5-star review or a 1/2-star review.

Pay equal attention to provider reviews

Merely having reviews for the practice is not enough to gain the trust of potential patients. It is also crucial to maintain an adequate number of positive reviews for the individual provider. 

You can send two review requests to the patient: one with the link for the practice’s review and another with the link for the provider’s review. By maintaining both practice and provider reviews, you can enhance the credibility of not only the practice as a whole but also the individual provider.

Filter out the patients who have left reviews

When you send a review request to your patients using a review management software like Emitrr, you can easily identify the patients who have left reviews and those who have not. 

For patients who have left reviews, you can simply acknowledge their feedback. For patients who have not taken any action on your request, you can send a follow-up message to prompt them to leave a review.

Have separate templates for different types of reviews

It is always beneficial to have different response templates that can be sent based on the received review. For example, you can have separate response templates for reviews with 5 stars, 4 stars, and so on.

Choose the right platform

When potential patients search for a healthcare practice that aligns with their needs, they often rely on reviews from platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. However, when they want to learn specifically about a healthcare provider, they typically refer to platforms like Healthgrades for provider reviews. It is crucial to establish a strong presence and gather reviews for both providers and patients.

Optimize your GMB listing

If you want to boost your digital footprint and improve your online visibility, it is essential to focus on your Google My Business (GMB) profile. If you don’t have a GMB profile, it is crucial to create one as soon as possible. 

If you already have a profile but are not generating sufficient traffic from it, then optimizing it is necessary. This includes adding pictures of your practice, updating contact information, regularly posting about upcoming events, and more.

Respond to reviews

As much as it is important to ask for reviews, it is equally important to consistently respond to the reviews left by patients. For positive reviews, a simple thank you to the patient is sufficient. In the case of negative reviews, it is important not to panic but instead focus on resolving the issue the patient faced.

By doing so, you can not only make improvements to your processes but also make the patient feel valued and respected. Furthermore, they would appreciate your efforts to address their concerns and may even consider returning to your practice.

FAQs on patient reviews

Are patient reviews reliable?

Patient reviews offer valuable insights into the operations of a practice, covering aspects such as the appointment booking process, wait times, and quality of care. For individuals seeking healthcare, reviews left by genuine patients can assist them in making informed decisions regarding their care. As long as the reviews are provided by legitimate patients, they can be considered reliable.  

Are patient reviews legally protected?

Patient reviews fall under the purview of the law of freedom of expression. As a healthcare provider, it is important to uphold patient confidentiality when responding to reviews and making them publicly available.

How to handle negative patient reviews?

Here are some best practices to respond to negative reviews: 

  • Stay calm and composed 
  • Address the patient directly and apologize 
  • Offer to connect offline
  • Try your best to resolve the issues 

How to use patient reviews for marketing?

Patient reviews serve as a valuable marketing tool, allowing you to showcase what your patients have to say about your practice. You can leverage these reviews to attract new patients by featuring them on your social media channels, website, and even in your marketing materials. However, it is important to obtain permission from the patients before using their reviews. 

How to respond to patient reviews? 

Always respond promptly and professionally to patient reviews, taking the time to acknowledge the review and express your gratitude. It is important to respond to all reviews, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

What metrics should I consider for analyzing patient reviews?

Here are some top metrics to analyze patient reviews: 

  • Overall rating 
  • Likelihood to recommend 
  • Patient satisfaction score 
  • Specific aspects rating 
  • The ratio of positive to negative reviews 
  • Review volume and frequency 
  • Response rates 
  • Work cloud analysis 

What are some of the top channels to generate patient reviews?

There are several channels to generate more patient reviews: 

  • Review platforms: You can create profiles on review platforms like Yelp, Google, and Healthgrades; and ask your patients to leave reviews. You can also monitor and respond to reviews on these platforms.  
  • Websites: Have a dedicated section on your website for testimonials. Simply request the satisfied patients to share their experiences and with their permission, post their reviews on your website. Doing so will leave a great impression on those who visit your site and build trust among prospective patients. 
  • Patient satisfaction surveys: You can either have an online form or a paper-based patient survey to generate more patient reviews and garner valuable insights. Make sure to include an option for patients to leave feedback at the end of the questionnaire.  
  • Feedback forms: Design a patient feedback form to get an overall experience of the patient. Include questions related to staff professionalism, cleanliness, wait times, appointment scheduling process, and overall satisfaction. 
  • Social media platforms: Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and ask your patients to engage with your page. You can also build more engagement by responding to their comments on those sites. 
  • Focus groups/ one-on-one interviews: For a more personalized approach towards generating patient reviews, you can ask the patient directly about their experience. You can do the same right after the appointment.  
  • Text messaging platforms like Emitrr: You can utilize patient communication and engagement platforms like Emitrr to kickstart review generation campaigns for your patients. The best part is that you can automate the entire review generation process and respond to reviews from a single dashboard. 

What are some dos and don’ts of patient reviews? 

Dos of patient reviews: 

  • Monitor reviews across different review platforms
  • Empathize with patients while responding to reviews 
  • Protect patient confidentiality 
  • Encourage feedback by utilizing all review generation channels 

Don’ts of patient reviews:

  • Don’t violate HIPAA guidelines 
  • Do not engage in review gating 
  • Do not argue with the patient 
  • Do not ignore reviews  


Patient reviews are a crucial aspect that should not be ignored or taken lightly. These reviews hold the power to boost your search rankings, attract potential patients, increase appointment bookings, and expand your patient base.

Generating patient reviews can be made easier by using the right channels and strategies. One effective method is through text messaging, which has an impressive open rate of 98% and a response rate of 45%.

By leveraging text messaging, there is a higher likelihood of receiving acknowledgements and responses to your review requests. If you are looking to automate your review generation process and enhance your online reputation, investing in patient communication software like Emitrr can be a game-changer.

Curious to discover what Emitrr has to offer? Book a demo today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *