How do patients select new medical practitioners? They read online reviews. While patients used to rely exclusively on referrals from a friend, 80% of people now depend on online reviews to select a new doctor or medical facility. Doctors like you can and should harness the power of peer reviews to increase your patient base and grow your practice.
But where do you start? There is a dizzying, endless list of sites and blogs patients use to research new doctors. While Google reviews are a sure-fire way to boost your business and patient leads, patients also consider the information found on more specialized listing services like Vitals.com. Prominent medical-focused sites like these provide a trustworthy place for prospective patients to read reviews and ratings of local practitioners like you. And what more than 10 million Vitals users are reading has major implications for your practice.
What is Vitals.com?
Vitals.com is the largest online database of patient submitted reviews for doctors and medical facilities. It is a free service that automatically pulls data from public records about actively licensed physicians. From dentists to allergists, physicians to surgeons, Vitals.com has compiled a comprehensive listing of over one million specialists and practitioners around the country.
Vitals.com doesn’t only offer basic contact and location information; the site invites patients to review many aspects of their visit to your practice. Patients can review several aspects of care using a 5-star ranking system, including:
- If the doctor, dentist, or clinician spends time with him or her
- If they receive an accurate diagnosis
- If they encounter a friendly staff
- If the staff has appropriate bedside manner
- How promptly he or she is seen once they arrive and check in.
- If they receive an appropriate follow-up after their visit
The importance of Vitals.com reviews
A healthy compilation of positive reviews is important for any local business to grow its customer base. For medical practitioners, reviews can play an even more significant role. Whether it’s a painful toothache or an urgent need, customers search for local medical providers when they’re stressed or anxious. Reading positive reviews helps alleviate patient anxiety and come to your office feeling confident and optimistic. Vitals.com is an easy way to stand out from other medical alternatives, and show potential patients that they are in good hands.
How to get Vitals.com reviews
Now that you know what Vitals.com reviews are and why they’re important for your medical business, here’s how to generate reviews on this influential website.
1. Fill out the signup form
The first step is to fill out a basic signup form to create your account. Simply follow the prompts to get started.
2. Claim your profile
Since Vitals.com sources its data from publicly available records, much of your information already exists in the system. To claim your listing, you need to verify your date of birth, license, and NPI number to prove your identity. During this step, you can add other physicians to your facility’s listing, too. This is helpful if you run a joint practice or employ a large medical team.
3. Update your profile
Once you verify your account, you can make changes to your profile. While the default information cannot be changed, you can add details like your education, languages spoken, and the insurance your office accepts. About three out of five people select doctors that have the most accurate and comprehensive profiles, so it’s essential your profile includes as many details as possible. A sparse profile raises patient suspicions—especially with podcasts like Dr. Death out there—so the more information you add increases your credibility and shows patients that your practice is a caring, trustworthy option for them.
The most important thing you can do to increase credibility is simple. Add a high-resolution photo of yourself to your Vitals.com profile. Inviting, warm images of you and your staff alleviate customer concerns and make them more likely to book an appointment with you.
4. Request reviews from your patients
When you click the “Write a Review” link on your profile, you can copy and paste the URL to distribute to your patient base. Make this step even easier by using a review management platform like Podium Reviews. By partnering with Podium, you can set up automated review invitations that rack up 5-star testimonials in no time. Better yet, if you’re not sure how to phrase your request, Podium provides a variety of plug-and-play templates to select from. Besides Vitals.com, Podium can help manage reviews on a variety of platforms including Facebook and Google.
You can also use the following strategies to entice patients to leave reviews on your Vitals.com profile.
- Distribute the link after a visit. Do you send a thank you or follow-up email after every appointment? Maybe now’s the time to start. Update your email copy with your review link to invite patients to tell others about their positive experience. An incentive always helps too. You could offer a free sample of a product or a discount on teeth whitening. A review is worth its weight in gold, so it’s worth the investment.
- Print the link on a postcard. Have your reception team hand out postcards at the end of each appointment to encourage patients to leave reviews
- Add your link to your email signature. Include a link to your reviews profile in the footer of your staff emails to remind customers about your review program.
- Share on your social media channels. Every couple of weeks, post reminders for your fans to rave about their latest visit. When they’re in the office, ask if you can take a photo and write down a review to share with other followers. A written consent form is usually the safest way to go about this tactic.
- Get an iPad for your office. Once patients leave, it’s hard to get them to leave a review. Modernize your office to include an iPad or tablet where they can leave a review before they walk out the door.
Patient privacy is an important thing to keep in mind when soliciting reviews. Remind patients that Vitals.com reviews are anonymous, so nothing about their experience will reveal their identity. Vitals.com takes this policy very seriously due to strict HIPPA privacy laws, so there’s nothing to fear.
When you solicit feedback, you’re bound to get a few bad apples. Instead of shying away from negative feedback, it is an excellent chance for your practice to shine. With Podium, you receive immediate alert when a patient posts a new review. You can quickly jump in to remedy the customer’s complaint before their grievance impacts your online reputation. Podium gives you a bird’s-eye view of your review ecosystem so you can interact with customers in a proactive and helpful way.
Frequently asked questions about Vitals.com reviews
- Can you remove your doctor listing from Vitals.com? Vitals.com automatically lists all actively licensed physicians. Since the listings populate from public record, the platform doesn’t need your permission to post it. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you jump in and update your profile with the kinds of rich, compelling details that patients seek. Otherwise, you’ll be at the mercy of what Vitals.com can get from public records which may paint an incomplete picture of your medical business.
- What if my facility’s information is inaccurate? Even though you can’t remove your listing, you can provide feedback on any information that might be old or inaccurate. Do so regularly so keep patients up to date with your practice.
- How often can patients rate a practitioner? In order to prevent spamming, Vitals.com only allows patients to rate their doctor once per month.
It’s impossible to grow your patient base without improving your review collection strategy. Boosting your presence on specialized sites like Vitals.com is an easy way you can attract new patients to your practice, earn patient trust, and improve upon your reputation as a wonderful medical professional.
Source: Becker’s Hospital Review