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Physical Therapy Patient Reviews: How to Ask for Reviews

Physical therapy patient reviews build effective social proof but can be difficult to obtain without the proper methods. Here are 3 methods for asking for reviews.

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Physical Therapy Patient Reviews: How To Ask for Reviews

Physical therapy is an invaluable healthcare service for patients that need help recovering from surgery, injury, or another medical condition. But how do you get these patients into your practice so you can help them?

Physical therapy patient reviews are crucial for attracting prospective patients to your physical therapy practice. According to Reputation's 2022 Healthcare Trends Report, over 70% of US consumers surveyed stated that they read patient reviews during their search for a new healthcare provider.

In addition to the opinions in the reviews, today's patients also look at the number of reviews. The same Reputation study showed that 80% of respondents wanted to see at least five reviews before trusting the provider, and 72% only consider providers with 4-star reviews or better.

Positive reviews are an excellent tool to boost the loyalty of existing patients and attract new ones. In this article, we will provide best practices for asking your physical therapy patients to give you an online review.

How to Ask for Physical Therapy Patient Reviews: 3 Methods

The most common methods of asking physical therapy patients for online reviews include in-office, email, and website-based techniques.

1. Ask for In-Office Reviews

Physical therapists (PTs) often have time to talk with patients after the end of their session, which provides a great opportunity to discuss reviews. You can combine this approach with an appointment card or other written material or provide a tablet that directly displays the page. Ensure this device is unable to access any patient's private health information (PHI) to help maintain HIPAA compliance and other information security requirements.

Promotional items can also encourage patients to leave reviews. These items are often magnets, notepads, and pens, but they can be anything with your office's contact information printed on them. Patients tend to retain promotional items longer than paper reminders, making it crucial to ensure your practice's website remains active. The space on these objects is often limited, so you should use link-shortening tools like Bit.ly or Goo.gl. A QR code on a poster is also an easy way for patients to access a review site.

Appointment cards are handy review reminders because patients can place them in visible locations, such as on a calendar, desk, or refrigerator. They should always include a link to the review site, so be sure to reprint your cards if the link ever changes. This often occurs when your landing page changes or you begin using a different review site. Pointing out the link and asking for a review each time you hand an appointment card to a patient increases the chances of them doing so.

2. Ask for Online Reviews via Email

Physical therapy practices should send an email to patients asking for online reviews after their appointment, especially the first one. An email campaign can easily be automated while still ensuring the messages are personalized. The messages should still be carefully crafted, even though they no longer need to be individually written. For example, they need to include a greeting with the patient's first name, thank them for their visit, and ask them about their experience. The email should also contain a link to the review page, whether it's on your own website or a third-party site.

An email should also remind patients that they don't need to include details about the visit, especially personal health information. Patients can provide any information they want in a review, but HIPAA laws prohibit healthcare providers from releasing covered information without the patient's consent. You also need to obtain patients' permission to contact them via email since not everyone wants to be contacted in that way. Furthermore, you should always use HIPAA-compliant email software when emailing any patient information.

3. Ask for Online Reviews Through Your Website

Your PT practice website is a great place to ask for reviews, especially for patients who already use it to get information or make appointments. Place a call-to-action (CTA) in multiple places on your website, such as banners, sidebars, and frequently visited pages. These CTAs should direct visitors to your review page. Ensure your practice's profile is on multiple review sites before asking patients for reviews, including the following:

  • Angie's List
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp

A 2020 survey by BrightLocal shows that 87% of consumers look at online reviews when choosing local businesses. It also found that the chances of consumers making a purchase increase by 270% when a business has at least five reviews. Getting the most out of web-based reviews also requires you to make that process as easy as possible for them, which means contacting them where they already are.

Three Tips for Asking Your Patients for An Online Review

  1. Ask your patient while their visit is still fresh in their mind: Your patients are more likely to leave you positive reviews right after their appointment if they have had a successful treatment or positive experience. Don't let that momentum go to waste! Make sure you ask your patient for a review before they leave your office. If your patient still doesn't write you a review, don't be discouraged! Follow up with them via email or a phone call to thank them for their recent visit to your office and give them a friendly reminder.
  2. Make it personal: Part of providing a top-tier patient experience that will drive patient retention and satisfaction is personalizing your services. Make sure you add a personal touch to your request for an online review by addressing the patient by name and congratulating them on the progress they've made in their physical therapy sessions. Make it clear that you value your patient's feedback and that you want to use it to help provide better services and help prospective patients. Don't forget to reply to your patient's reviews and thank them for sharing their experience.
  3. Give your patients options: Remove any barriers your patients might have to overcome before they leave you a review. Some patients might not have an account with Yelp, but they have an account with Google or vice versa. If your patient has to sign up for a new account just to leave your practice a review, there's a good chance they won't end up leaving one. Give your patients the option to leave a review on their preferred platform, so you don't miss out on a positive review!

Patient Reviews and HIPAA

PTs need to comply with HIPAA requirements when handling patient reviews, even when the patient discloses such information themselves. For example, you must still obtain the patient's written consent to share the review when it directly identifies them. Remind patients that they don't need to provide details like PHI in their review, and consider allowing patients to make anonymous reviews. Don't contact patients or disclose any personal information without their expressed consent, not even their names.

This requirement is most likely to become problematic when you want to post a positive review and are unable to contact the patient. However, obtaining permission first is an effective way of demonstrating your professionalism in protecting PHI, in addition to it being a legal requirement.

The Bottom Line: Creating Positive Patient Experiences

Patient reviews are increasingly important for attracting prospective patients to a physical therapy practice. Multiple methods are available for encouraging reviews, but they all require you to use a respectful, non-demanding tone and comply with HIPAA requirements. It's also important to thank patients for their effort and track the ones leaving reviews, so you don't contact them unnecessarily.

Though it's a necessary aspect of your practice management, online reputation management can be a time-consuming process. Whether you're a physical therapist or a practice owner, we know you could use some more time in your day.

MWTherapy's all-in-one physical therapy practice management software helps PTs simplify billing, EMR, telehealth, communications, and much more—so you can find time to focus on providing positive patient experiences that your patients will rave about. Request a free demo and find out how MWTherapy can streamline your operations.

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