We’re defining fake patient reviews as any review that doesn’t come from a verified patient, and they can be both negative and positive! This means that competitors, ex-employees, personal acquaintances, and your average internet troll are all capable of leaving a fake patient review that can impact the social standing of your practice.
When it comes to online reviews, it’s not likely that a researching patient will take the time to research the reviewers, which has left a wide open gap for malicious reviewers to fill.
Ultimately, a study done by PEW in 2016 indicated that negative reviews are 54% more likely to impact a searcher’s decision to engage with a practice more than positive ones. Why? Because we all want to avoid bad experiences, bad services, and offices that could leave us in worse health than when we entered.
In some cases, there’s truth to negative reviews. However, in many cases, good offices and doctors are experiencing an influx of fake patient reviews aimed at tarnishing their reputation, and consequently dissuades prospective patients from making an appointment. Unfortunately, an otherwise good and reliable healthcare practice is targeted to increase someone else’s profit – at the unsuspecting practice’s expense. By pushing patients away from a good practice through fake patient reviews, a lesser-known office may have a better chance and that’s the basis of this unethical behavior.
Reviews are central to the success of your practice’s long-term growth. This is especially clear when you realize that, according to a study done by SoftwareAdvice, 77% of patients check the internet and review sites as their first steps towards picking a provider. Pair that with the fact that Google’s local search algorithms have placed preference on showing companies with higher ratings at the top of their search results pages, and you can see how these fake reviews are exploiting the system and your reputation!