As patient reviews are CRUCIAL for patient experience management and for practices with higher patient volumes, we always recommend using a patient reviews software.
Having the best patient experience ultimately leads to getting more satisfied patients. Having more satisfied patients and keeping the patient engaged with your medical practice leads to more patient appointments. It also leads to getting more patient referrals. All these lend a huge helping hand towards patient acquisition.
- HIPAA security
- Patient reviews templates
- 2 way SMS and email capabilities
- Validating numbers with patient reviews software
- Multiple reviews sites in our patient reviews software
- Work without EMR connectivity to our patient reviews software
- Full EMR connectivity (paid)
- SMS (text messaging) history
- Resend SMS and emails for patient reviews
- Prebuilt satisfaction surveys
- Support for multiple SMS “send from” numbers (one phone number per location)
- Ability to add one patient reviews template per location
- A/B testing of your patient reviews templates
- Ability to capture reviews first and then direct patients to online review sites
- Learn More
This is a MUST have. If you are choosing a vendor, make sure that they are providing you with HIPAA secure software. If they are, they would be willing to sign a BAA (business associate agreement). There are MANY off-the-shelf reviews software in the market however MOST of them are NOT HIPAA compliant. Narrow down your list to using ONLY HIPAA compliant ones.
EzPatientReviews is 100% HIPAA compliant as we follow Amazon’s Reference Architecture for HIPAA on AWS .
Patient reviews templates
You are going to need to experiment with the SMS or email reviews messages that are sent out. While there are several tried and tested patient reviews templates that you can get started with, you would still want to figure out what works best for your own practice.
With EzPatientReviews, you have the ability to create various patient reviews templates and experiment with those templates. You might notice that a certain age group of patients or patients from certain locations might respond better to one patient review request template over the other.
You can start with our tried and tested patient review templates. At any point in time, you only have one review template active. As you get a better handle on all this, you might move towards running A/B tests. However, in the beginning, start with the basics.
2 way SMS and email capabilities
There are several studies that show the comparisons of sending reviews requests via email vs sending patient reviews requests via SMS. In our experience, SMS has turned out to be a better option for requesting patient reviews.
EzPatientReviews gives you the ability to send patient reviews requests via email, SMS or both. Not only that, you can always respond back to patients if they text you back or email you back.
Validating numbers with patient reviews software
Thus far, the biggest challenge that text messaging faces is that before sending an SMS, you don’t typically know whether the number is a mobile or a landline. EzPatientReviews helps you do that, without a problem. We will never send a text message to a number that is not a mobile number.
Multiple reviews sites in our patient reviews software
We believe in Google and facebook reviews. Why? Because in our experience, most patients are signed in to either their google / gmail accounts.. or, if not, they are signed into facebook. Our patient reviews software allows you to post on google reviews and on facebook as well. These are two that are “must have” reviews sites.
You can, of course, choose to have other websites as well. Doing this requires you to get appropriate reviews URL for each vendor (google or facebook). Fortunately, Facebook is a bit easier and has only one review URL per practice (i.e. one reviews URL for the whole business / medical practice.
Google, on the other hand, has a reviews URL per location.So, each location’s reviews URL needs to be prepared beforehand and you should use this reviews URL to solicit patient feedback on.
Feel free to add as many review site URLs as you want.
Work without EMR connectivity to our patient reviews software
You don’t have to wait for EMR connectivity to start getting patient reviews. You can get started with just patients and appointments data upload via CSV files.
You can add patients one by one and also go ahead with uploading patients regularly with some appointment details (if needed by your templates).
All you really need to be able to send patient reviews SMS like “Dear <patient first name>, How did our doctors and staff at <practice name> do today? Please leave us a review when you get a chance to https://yourreviewurl.com” are
- patient first name
- patient phone number OR
- patient email address
That’s it.. If you truly are in a bind, you could even go with a more (not as effective) plain review template like this
“How did our doctors and staff at <your practice name> do today? Please leave us a review when you get a chance to https://yourreviewurl.com”. For this, all you need are phone numbers OR email addresses. That’s it. If you have a set process wherein you upload a CSV every day with contact details to send SMS/email to.. you are at least ready to get started.
Full EMR connectivity (paid)
We can also add EMR connectivity for you. This really does help a lot in many ways.
First – it allows you to forget about having to upload CSV every day. No matter how diligent you are, you are going to miss uploading CSV and sending patients SMS on a regular basis.
Next – it allows you to reach patients within moments of their checking out of their appointments. This truly does help a lot and we noticed an increased number of patient reviews once this was done. Sure, without EMR connectivity you could potentially download patient CSV every hour or 30 mins and send SMS.. but that’s a tedious process and you are likely to forget doing so often.
Finally – having EMR connectivity allows you to really customize and personalize your patient outreach. This truly does make a difference.
We can connect with EMRs via APIs or via HL7. Most patient reviews software do exactly the same.
API based integration
APIs allow you to pull data from the EMR on a regular basis. But, please be aware that most EMRs’ APIs are not very advanced and don’t allow you the flexibility you might desire or the extended features you might require. While using EMR APIs, you are going to constantly call these APIs and pull information on a schedule.. there are always chances of errors and issues that might prop up. We have faced quite a few of these headaches. However, in most EMRs this does work well enough.
HL7 based integration
HL7 integration allows you to not have to “poll” for data all the time. Each time an ADT (admission, discharge, transfer) message is passed from your EMR to the secure directory via a flat file HL7 message, your website/code could pick up this message and process it. This is not rocket science, however do note that this is not free either. EMRs tend to charge for this. Plus, we are liable to set up the VPN connectivity (or your vendor would ask for your authorization to do so), the file transfer server(s), the polling process wherein your code scans the file upload directory for new files, picks up new files, processes them and has some way to handle errors in processing (plus reprocess if required).
There are issues in either choices – just be aware of them and you will be good to go.
SMS (text messaging) history
Most patient reviews software will not let you have conversations with patients EzPatientReviews shows you entire SMS history for messages sent from your practice texting number to a patient’s phone number – whether an SMS was sent for reviews or something else (e.g. appointment reminder, appointment confirmation, recall etc). You can also see if and when a patient writes back to you on your practice SMS number.
There are several reasons why this is important.
- SMS delivery fails
- Patients respond back to SMS instead of going to google or facebook and leaving reviews. These patients then need to be thanked and requested to leave the same review on Google or Facebook etc.
- Patients tend to initiate new conversations via the same SMS number – assuming that this SMS inbox is monitored all the time. We have seen everything from appointment scheduling requests to pharmacy related questions.
- You need to know how many times a patient has been asked for a review. Sometimes it is best to just call the patient and ask them whether they are happy with your practice or not (if they do not respond to review requests)
Resend SMS and emails for patient reviews
This is going to become important once you actually start sending SMS daily. Since our patient contact center team partners with our practice marketing team, this becomes very important for us (and our clients).
Many times, front desk staff fail to collect a patient’s mobile number and instead, get us the home phone or work phone number only. We find out about this when we send SMS with a review request to the patient. This message ends up being UNDELIVERABLE.
This prompts our practice marketing team to collaborate with our patient call center team to call these patients and get their mobile numbers (there are several other benefits to mobile numbers than just getting patient reviews).
Once we get the patients’ updated mobile numbers, the review request is sent out again. In fact, what the patient contact center team ends up doing is that while they have the patient on the phone, they send a review request to the patient’s cell number.
We add the ability for someone in your practice to be able to resend emails or SMS to people on demand. This truly does help contribute towards getting more patient reviews.
Prebuilt satisfaction surveys
You are invariably going to need patient satisfaction survey functionality. From time to time, you want to understand how the patients feel about your practice, staff or providers. You might also run some HRA (health risk assessment) campaigns to understand your patients at risk.
With EzPatient Reviews software, you can send an SMS with a web page link wherein the patient takes the survey. We have prebuilt forms for you to use right away.
This starts providing value immediately. We treat this just as a patient review request and create a separate template for it. This template has a web page link and a simple message that we personalize for the patient. In the web page / website, we monitor which patients have already responded to our survey, then update the reviews software with this information.
Support for multiple SMS “send from” numbers (one phone number per location)
We have had to handle this before where practice groups wanted to send patient review requests from a distinct phone number per location. The main reason behind this request was that we always configure the “send from” SMS number to route to the practice’s phone number when the patient calls that phone number itself (this does happen in many cases).
While we do not advocate having separate phone numbers for each location, many practice groups choose to continue with a phone number per location and want to route such patient calls to those locations. In this case, we end up sending patient review requests from different phone numbers.
We support this out of the box for you.
Ability to add one patient reviews template per location
This goes hand in hand with the separate phone number discussion above. We have encountered situations wherein practice groups’ locations were each better known with a different name.. so that patients could identify with them.
e.g Urban health – El Nuevo San Juan, Urban health – Kips Bay etc..
With EzPatientReviews, You can create reviews template specific to each location itself.
A/B testing of your patient reviews templates
This, arguably, would come later down the line when you are trying to maximize the number of reviews your patients leave. We have found that when a practice first implements a patient reviews software they are thrilled at getting new patient reviews.
Soon, the euphoria dies down and it becomes the norm. At this point, you want to know which reviews templates are getting you the maximum responses and which one you should continue with vs which ones you should demote/remove.
The concept of A/B testing is nothing new in the world of marketing (or medical marketing). You could very easily have multiple reviews templates set up for each location or for the entire practice.. and each time you send out patient review requests – we can distribute the review requests evenly between the various templates that are being tested.
What’s more important here is to constantly monitor which SMS/email actually leads to responses.. i.e. a goal completion. Ultimately, you can never really figure out for sure whether a patient that you sent SMS to actually did respond with a Google / Facebook review or not (trust us on this – patient names are not the same in your EMR as they are online). Your best bet is to monitor which patient leaves your practice a review.. and hope for the best that this patient also leaves the same review online as well.
Don’t promote / demote a version unless you have run the experiment for a substantial period of time. Don’t have knee jerk reactions of panic when reviews go down in numbers. Remove emotions from this process and find the winning templates!
Ability to capture reviews first and then direct patients to online review sites
There are a couple of ways to think through this process. We allow you the flexibility to choose whatever route suits your business purposes.
- You can send an SMS to the patient and give them the link to your google/facebook reviews page right there OR
- You can send an SMS to the patient, ask them to respond back with their review. If they respond to you review request SMS, immediately send them to the review page OR
- You can send them an SMS with your internal review page. If the patient actually leaves you a review on your internal web page, then allow them to copy/paste that review on one of your reviews sites.
We have tried all versions and have not yet concluded which one works the best. Our initial test results show that when a patient is sent an SMS with the review website in the SMS itself, they tend to respond more. HOWEVER, we found that patients did not actually write a text in that review.. they merely left a star rating.
Yes it is. The free version allows you to do everything you need to do to get patient reviews. You can upload patients’ phone numbers every day/hour/week or however you want.
If you do not want to manually upload patient data each day, you can have us pull patient phone numbers from your EMR or practice management system as well. The EMR integration is what you pay for ($500/month). However, once you have connected your EMR to EzPatientReviews, you can use that same connection for all our other free software as well.
Pretty simple. Contact us to get started and our IT team will set you up with your account.
We will send you an email to the email address you registered with, to confirm your identity. Click on the verification email and you are good to go.
Once you login, click on “Practice” on the left hand menu. On this page, you will add your practice details.
On this screen, you can add all your organization details.
After you add your first location, click on “Add this location” button.
Congrats, you have added your first location.
You can proceed to add as many more locations as you want.
All locations you add, will show up in the list below.
Click on the Social Media drop down and choose which review site URL you want to add. Make sure that you are entering your own practice’s reviews URL.
You can add as many as you want
Many reviews websites allow you to get reviews for each one of your locations. You can add your locations as described above.
Once you have added locations, you can add reviews link for each location.
Login to EzPatientReviews. On the left hand menu, click on Patients. On this page, you have 3 ways to add patients
1. Add a single patient
2. Upload a patient file
3. Upload an appointments file
Click on Upload patient button. On the next page, you can upload a CSV file with your patient data. If you have not uploaded your patient information yet, you can click on the “Download Sample CSV” link to download a sample file to your computer.
After creating your sample CSV file, click on upload button to upload your CSV file with patient data. You need very few pieces of information, namely, First name, last name, MRN, phone number, email. That’s it. You can do with even less data as well.
Once you upload the patient file, you will be able to map the columns from the CSV file to the data that EzPatientReviews expects.
Map the columns correctly and then hit the Save button. That’s it.
You can add all your appointments for the day by uploading a daily appointments file to EzPatientReviews. Click on Add Appointments button on the Patients page to upload a CSV file with all your appointments.
After you click on upload CSV button, you will be asked to map the locations that EzPatientReviews finds in your CSV to the locations that you have already set up in your organization before. Click on Map location and hit the Save button. That’s it.
Click on Review request template on the left hand navigation menu. On the next page, you will be able to add a template name, the patient reviews request template that you want to create. Save your review request template.
You should ALWAYS personalize patient review requests. We have found that patients respond much better when we address them by their first name. We typically use location to just personalize the review URL a bit, that’s it.
You can personalize your review requests only if you have provided EzPatientReviews the name of your patients or the location of their appointments.
Use the following format $patient_name, $patient_fname, $patient_lname to personalize your review requests
You can set up your template to be sent via SMS only or email only or both SMS and email
Click on “Review request” on the left hand menu. On that screen, enter the name of the template you want to use for this review request. You can select any one of your prior review request templates.
Give your request a name just so you can identify it later on and see all the patient responses based on this batch of review requests.
Next, choose when you want to send those review requests out.
Final step is to choose the patients you want to send the review requests to. You might not want to send review requests to everybody. If you have mistakenly added those patients previously, you have one final chance of not sending them review requests
Go to the Review Requests web page on the left hand menu. On that page, you see all the requests that you have sent out thus far.
Click on any of the review request names to see the status of each patient review request.
On this screen, you can select any number of patients again and send them the review URL. We noticed that we had to do this because some patients didn’t understand our first message, so they would write back to our patient contact center team. Once the patient contact center team responded to the patients using EzWebTexting, the patients asked for the reviews URL again.
On this screen, you can also archive all patients that you want to – e.g. patients that have already left reviews, patients that have responded with a NO or patients that should not be sent reviews requests etc.
There are many occasions when a patient responds back instead of writing a review. In such cases, you can simply click on the patient name here, click the “Actions” column here and then click on the “Reply” option.
This will allow you to respond/write to your patients directly.
Click on the Review Request response on the left hand navigation menu. Here, you can see all patient responses. You can filter responses based on template names that you had created before.
Click on Mailbox on the left hand side. You will see all SMS that was ever sent to any patient.
On this page, you can filter responses by email or location of the patient’s appointment.
You can also search by patient name
Respond to your patient right there