HealthDay News — Medical practice staff can effectively handle negative online reviews by staying calm and positive, looking for solutions, apologizing, and thanking the reviewers, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

According to the article, every physician or medical practice owner deals with many online reviews. While most are encouraging, the ability to stay anonymous can make some patients more likely to post scathing, vindictive reviews. It can be difficult for physicians and practice owners to read these reviews if they take them personally. Instead, someone from the practice who knows how to deal with negative reviews effectively should handle them.

The first way to achieve a more balanced view of online patient reviews is to stay calm and understand that it is not possible to please every patient. If there are patterns among the negative reviews, they can be addressed. The next step is to look for solutions once it is clear what aspect of the practice needs improvement. It is important to acknowledge negative reviews with a soft yet firm response to show that the practice is attempting to resolve the patient’s concerns. It is best to apologize and thank the reviewer rather than being aggressive or defensive. Finally, there is a positive side to negative reviews, in that patients may be suspicious that reviews are fake if not a single one is negative.

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“No matter how scathing the review is, you can always learn from it. If you know that the negative feedback is correct, it is essential to take proactive steps to fix the issue,” according to the article.

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