How a medical practice is represented on the Internet will determine its success. As one of the top 10 review sites, Healthgrades influences patient decision-making and determines who decides to come to your medical practice and who stays away. So if you are working to improve your online reputation, you cannot afford to ignore patient reviews and ratings at Healthgrades. If the reviews are negative, they can be damaging to your practice, especially because Healthgrades reviews usually appear on top of Google search results. Bad reviews at Healthgrades, if not addressed properly, will damage your online reputation and diminish your chances to attract new patients and grow your practice.
After reading a negative review about your medical practice on a popular site like Healthgrades, your first thought will be to look for ways to get it removed from the site. Unfortunately, as with other review sites, it is not easy to remove a review from Healthgrades. Only patients who post the reviews can remove them from the site.
However, that does not mean you should ignore the negative review about your practice. Reducing the influence or visibility of a negative review at Healthgrades is your best course of action. You can also consider employing the following strategies:
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
- Request the website to remove the negative review: You can contact Healthgrades yourself or hire a lawyer to do it for you. While a lawyer can save you the time and effort in contacting the website, he/she may not have much luck. You cannot sue the website to remove the negative review, even if the review is defamatory, because federal law protects the review sites. Each review site has its policy for removing reviews, and most of them hold sole discretion for removing questionable reviews.
- Contact the reviewer: You can communicate with the reviewer to discuss your concerns and ask them to remove the negative review. However, if the reviewer felt convinced enough to post the review, he/she may feel defensive about being contacted about it. Your lawyer can write a demand letter to the reviewer, asking to remove the review or face a lawsuit. However, it is advisable not to take this step unless you are serious about suing the reviewer. The legal letters can go viral, leading to criticism against you for bullying the reviewer. In some case, the reviewer may post the feedback anonymously, making it impossible to identify him or her. In such situations, you can summon the website to provide the name of the anonymous reviewer and then take the necessary steps.
- Take legal action: The most extreme step is to sue the reviewer and seek a court order that mandates the reviewer to remove or modify the review. Winning a legal battle is not easy because of the free speech rights of the First Amendment. However, merely suing the reviewer may result in intentional removal of the review.
- Try to settle the case: If you file a lawsuit, the reviewer may resolve the case to avoid the burden of fighting a legal battle. The reviewer may agree to remove the review permanently or modify the harsh tone in return for paying less in money damages. From a medical practitioner’s perspective, getting the negative review removed is worth surrendering the possibility of money damages, particularly if the negative review can severely damage your reputation.
Most medical professionals understand the impact of review sites like Healthgrades on their online reputation. However, not many medical professionals know how to improve Healthgrades ratings for enhancing their online reputation. By following the strategies described in this article and adhering to online reputation management best practices, you can set yourself apart from competitors.