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Matador Solutions September 17, 2013 No Comments

Matador Solutions Webinar Q&A: How To Fix Negative Patient Reviews

The following questions were collected from the Matador SolutionsWebinar titled How To Fix Negative Patient Reviews. They were all asked by webinar participants.

Q: If you survey patients in the office, by filling out a review form…can you post these on review websites? Or only on your personal site?

A: You can post these testimonials on review sites given you have the proper authorization language and your questions match those being asked by the website. Basically, you require HIPAA-compliant language, an acceptable means of managing this type of Patient Health Information (PHI), and technology support to encrypt data and post review from many alternative IP addresses.

Q: Why can’t I just ask patients to post reviews?
Related Blog Post | Doctors and Surgeons: Remove Negative Reviews or Add Positive Ones?

A: Asking patients to simply post reviews means you don’t control the process. Some patients think a 3/5 star review is good, when in fact it could hurt your overall ratings. Why ask patients to actually post reviews when you can take control of that entire process and ensure what goes up is helping your online reputation? HIPAA-compliance is another hurdle – personal solicitation from a doctor to patient to publicize reviews is a gray area where some physicians have run into problems.

Q: Can you ask the site displaying negative comments to take them down if they are especially malicious?
Related Blog Post | Removing Negative Reviews: Can You Sue Someone Who Leaves One?

A: Reviewers are protected by the First Amendment, as are the sites where they leave testimonials. Additionally, the complex rules around libel, defamation, and slander makes this difficult. For more information, please contact our legal team.

Q: How do I handle fake negative reviews on Yelp?

Related Blog Post | Remove Bad Reviews From Yelp

A: Fake reviews are difficult to handle. Removal needs to be balanced against the guidelines, and a possible legal process should be considered. Please read the above article. To investigate further, again, please contact us for a call.


Q: What do I do if I ask a patient to leave me a review and I’m not satisfied with what they wrote?
Related Blog Post | Doctors and Surgeons: Remove Negative Reviews or Add Positive Ones?

A: You can ask them to remove the review, but this creates a very uncomfortable situation. Matador Solutions recommends you take control of the process of posting reviews entirely so this situation doesn’t arise. More positive, less negative — out of sight, out of mind. If a single negative review is pushed to the bottom of the 5th page of primarily positive reviews, it’s like the negative review never happened.


Q: What do I do if I think another physician left me a bad review?
Related Blog Post | Removing Negative Reviews: When Other Physicians Post Negative Comments

A: This type of activity may violate the guidelines of the review site, so you need to consider acting on it if you have proof. Ultimately, having a good reputation wall is critical.