Why You Need Both Practice AND Provider Reviews

Author: Ravi Kalidindi
A patient reads multiple glowing reviews for a doctor he is about to see for the first time.

We all want reassurance when entrusting our health to someone new.

In the past, that came from personal referrals from family or friends, or maybe from another doctor. Increasingly, however, it stems from online reviews.

Recent studies show that 75% of patients consult online ratings before their first visit with a new provider — and 72% only consider locations rated 4 stars or higher.

This social proof matters both for the practice itself and for its individual providers. While practice reviews bring new patients through the door, provider reviews build patient confidence in the actual care they’ll receive.

Who Needs Provider Reviews?

Provider reviews represent a huge opportunity for certain types of medical facilities, but they aren’t necessary across all organizations.

For example, providers frequently come and go in hospital settings, and patients have little ability to choose a preference among them anyway. As such, hospitals benefit more from focusing on overall facility reviews than provider reviews.

Specialty practices, however, can benefit greatly from cultivating provider reviews alongside practice reviews.

Patients typically enter a specialty practice either via a doctor referral or by searching for a particular specialty online. For referrals, the top concern on the patient’s mind is whether they’ve been referred to a good doctor. Often, they’ll do their own online research to investigate the specific provider, not just the practice overall. If they find poor reviews or no reviews, they may ask for a different referral.

If a patient decides to find a specialist on their own, they usually start with Google. After searching for something like “orthopedic practice near me,” they’ll first see a list of specialty practices and their practice reviews. They’ll then drill down, finding the providers who specialize in the relevant area and reading their reviews.

Similarly, a person searching for a new primary care physician may be interested in the practice’s reputation, but they’re most interested in reviews about the physician. The provider is the one they develop a personal relationship with and the one they trust to watch over their health.

In each scenario, provider reviews are crucial. Patients want to know the reputation of the person who actually administers their care, not just of the place where that person works.

Where to Increase Provider Reviews

Since provider reviews are so important, where do the reviews live, and which are the most important review sites? While there are several top-tier sites that make sense for most providers — Healthgrades, Vitals, WebMD — the real answer is, it depends.

To find which sites matter most for any particular provider, Google their name. Which review pages show up first? Those are your targets.

If the provider has a Google listing, it usually appears more prominently than other search results. Start with the number one result — often Google — and work your way down from there.

Companies like Healthgrades, Vitals, WebMD, and other well-known review sites already spend the money and resources to ensure provider listings show up high in search results. All that remains is keeping the provider information — name, address, photo, etc. — in those listings accurate and up to date and populating the listing with positive reviews.

Quote: Why You Need Both Practice AND Provider Reviews

Where to Focus: How to Get Practice AND Provider Reviews

If you’re concerned about attacking all these review websites AND maintaining practice reviews at the same time, you’re not wrong. This is where working with an experienced team can really make a difference.

We’ve found that attempting to do everything at once simply waters down your efforts without producing effective results. And, again, the specific place to start depends.

When we work with clients to improve practice and provider reputations, we focus on the area of greatest need first. Does your practice have a below 4-star Google rating? We might focus on improving that first and move on to a specific provider who needs a boost once the practice reviews reach a certain level. Then we’d move on to the next area that needs a refresh.

The process may sound complicated, and it can be if you’re trying to take care of it manually. But the Simple Interact platform can automatically route the review step of the feedback process to either a practice location listing or a specific provider listing, depending on the visit details, and the need to target specific review sites currently lacking reviews.

Simple Interact’s automation platform takes care of all the details for you, allowing you to focus on running a great practice.

Can You Retain Provider Reviews From Previous Practices?

What happens if you bring on a new provider with existing reviews? Do their provider-specific reviews transfer with them?

Again, it depends.

In many cases, websites like Healthgrades allow providers to simply update their location and affiliation information, and their reviews stay with them (whether good or bad).

For brick-and-mortar-oriented listings, like Google, providers may be able to work with the company to update their physical address if the move is a small one, such as to a nearby neighborhood.

If the move is more significant, however, Google may not consider existing reviews applicable in the new location, since the patient base is different. In that case, they’ll mark the existing listing as permanently closed, and the provider will lose their reviews. (Since Google policies can change, it’s best to contact them directly and discuss possible solutions.)

Infographic: Why You Need Both Practice AND Provider Reviews

Follow Best Practices to Gather Provider Reviews

When seeking reviews from patients, it’s important to follow a few crucial best practices.


  • Make it easy for patients to give feedback.
  • Lead patients to the appropriate review sites.
  • Be consistent in asking for reviews.
  • Participate in feedback, whether negative or positive.


  • Don’t offer something in exchange for a positive online review.
  • Don’t pressure patients into leaving positive reviews.
  • Don’t respond to negative reviews in a combative or defensive manner.
  • Don’t ignore negative reviews.

For more detail, read our full post on best practices for requesting patient reviews.

Final Thoughts

These days, a carefully managed online reputation is critical to attracting and retaining patients.

If you’re looking for help in developing a strategy to increase reviews or boost your ratings, contact Simple Interact. Our team would be happy to discuss your needs and develop a tailor-made plan for your organization.

Have questions?

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