How truthful are Google reviews for doctors?

How truthful are Google reviews for doctors?

Q: My granddaughter is always checking out doctors’ practices for me by reading the Google reviews. How legitimate is this?

A: On November 8th I will be giving a FREE multimedia seminar on “How to Choose a Hi Tech Dental Office in 2020” This is especially crucial for implant and cosmetic dentistry patients, but will also be important for those that need basic treatment such as crowns, filings and cleanings.

My slides will show you what to look for in a modern office as far as equipment, materials and techniques. Firstly, avoid offices with orange shag carpet and dark paneling form your mom’s basement, circa 1978. (Wayne’s world….. Party on…..ex-cell-ent!)

Over 85% of consumers use the web to make healthcare decisions. You should be suspicious of google reviews when:

  • Way too many reviews are posted: If you see 800+, 1000 + 5-star reviews for a solo practice and the doctor has only been out of school for 10 years. Be suspicious. They might have hired a company that posts fake reviews. Remember, Google reviews really started to take off only about eight years ago.
  • Yelp: Ignore all reviews related to doctors on Yelp. Leave that site for who makes the best schnitzel and who empties septic tanks.
  • Healthgrades.com : COMPLETELY useless.
  • Repetitive language: reviews using exactly the same words.
  • Large numbers of reviews written on the same day and from the same device, or “IP” address.
  • Five star reviews that don’t even mention the service they received at the office. Example: Veneers, implants, crowns.
  • The doctor or staff does not respond to the review.
  • Reviews posted on the doctor’s website; obviously bias testimonials.
  • One star reviews posted by people not using their real names or ones that the doctor’s offices have responded to, clearly showing they don’t even have a patient that fits that description.
  • Poor English and bad grammar. These could be fake postings from outside the USA.
  • One star reviews that don’t mention the pros and cons of the office. These could be from competitors trashing the doctor!

It is not unusual to find some one-star reviews. In any business, it is impossible to please everyone. You will often find doctors and office managers responding in diplomatic and constructive ways to those with gripes.

I’m a consumer too. Businesses with too few reviews can turn me off more than ones with a couple of one star reviews against a background of many five-star reviews.

And most importantly: Read the reviews! Don’t just look at the number of reviews.

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