Zennith

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Hi everyone,

I manage the listing for a small government subsidized healthcare business in Australia. Recently, we have been getting a number of 1 star reviews with the principal complaint being that we are fully booked and there are no appointments available. I completely get that this is frustrating for the patients, but ultimately there is always a finite supply of doctors and demand always outstrips supply.

Perhaps the best analogy I can think of is people giving a 1 star review to a restaurant that has no bookings available the night that they call for a dinner reservation.

Since the people leaving the reviews make clear that they haven't visited us, would it be worth trying to contact GMB to remove these reviews as off topic? Our medicolegal advisor has cautioned about replying directly to the reviews because it could give the appearance of confirming or denying particular people are patients of ours.

Any advice appreciated.
 

Professor M

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frustrating as it is you cannot remove those reviews, they have an interaction with the business so that counts for Google

Even the "Restaurant" in your analogy could not take the reviews.
 

Digitaldar

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Hi everyone,

I manage the listing for a small government subsidized healthcare business in Australia. Recently, we have been getting a number of 1 star reviews with the principal complaint being that we are fully booked and there are no appointments available. I completely get that this is frustrating for the patients, but ultimately there is always a finite supply of doctors and demand always outstrips supply.

Perhaps the best analogy I can think of is people giving a 1 star review to a restaurant that has no bookings available the night that they call for a dinner reservation.

Since the people leaving the reviews make clear that they haven't visited us, would it be worth trying to contact GMB to remove these reviews as off topic? Our medicolegal advisor has cautioned about replying directly to the reviews because it could give the appearance of confirming or denying particular people are patients of ours.

Any advice appreciated.

Is the organization doing anything to ameliorate the issue? Is online booking available (even if the nearest availability is 2 months out for example)? Is reception maintaining a cancellation list? I also think it would be possible to respond without confirming that an individual is a patient "We are terribly sorry that we did not have any openings for your desired dates. Please use our online booking tool to make an appointment for a future date" or something along those lines?
 

Teresa Gaunt

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Hi everyone,

I manage the listing for a small government subsidized healthcare business in Australia. Recently, we have been getting a number of 1 star reviews with the principal complaint being that we are fully booked and there are no appointments available. I completely get that this is frustrating for the patients, but ultimately there is always a finite supply of doctors and demand always outstrips supply.

Perhaps the best analogy I can think of is people giving a 1 star review to a restaurant that has no bookings available the night that they call for a dinner reservation.

Since the people leaving the reviews make clear that they haven't visited us, would it be worth trying to contact GMB to remove these reviews as off topic? Our medicolegal advisor has cautioned about replying directly to the reviews because it could give the appearance of confirming or denying particular people are patients of ours.

Any advice appreciated.

Hi! I think it would be worth a try to flag the reviews within the GMB account. Google surprises us sometimes and we've had some success getting them to remove reviews like this. I would flag them as "Off-Topic," cross your fingers, and see what happens.

If Google won't remove, then I would definitely respond to the reviews. If you respond in a way that is more general and not specific to the reviewer, you'll avoid confirming them as a patient. For example, "Thank you for sharing your feedback! We apologize that it's been difficult to schedule an appointment, as it has been extremely busy lately. We do everything we can to provide quality care and that includes scheduling patients as quickly as possible. If it helps, we do have a cancellation list that can be joined by calling 123-456-7890."

Keep us posted, I would love to know how it turns out!
 

Zennith

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Thanks for your responses!

Is the organization doing anything to ameliorate the issue? Is online booking available (even if the nearest availability is 2 months out for example)? Is reception maintaining a cancellation list? I also think it would be possible to respond without confirming that an individual is a patient "We are terribly sorry that we did not have any openings for your desired dates. Please use our online booking tool to make an appointment for a future date" or something along those lines?
Yes we do have online booking. However, we only open appointments two weeks in advance. The reason being we have found in the past that anything beyond 2+ weeks, patients simply either forget or just don't turn up which exacerbates the issue as those appointments could have gone to someone else! Sadly there is not much else we can do, the reality is as a government subsidized facility we just can't compete with the pay on offer for doctors from the private sector, as such demand for our free service will always outstrip supply.

I do like the wording of your response, but will have to think very carefully about the wording. In order to be a patient of our facility, you must be referred by a General Practitioner/Family Practitioner and so bookings aren't available to the general public in the first place.

Hi! I think it would be worth a try to flag the reviews within the GMB account. Google surprises us sometimes and we've had some success getting them to remove reviews like this. I would flag them as "Off-Topic," cross your fingers, and see what happens.

If Google won't remove, then I would definitely respond to the reviews. If you respond in a way that is more general and not specific to the reviewer, you'll avoid confirming them as a patient. For example, "Thank you for sharing your feedback! We apologize that it's been difficult to schedule an appointment, as it has been extremely busy lately. We do everything we can to provide quality care and that includes scheduling patients as quickly as possible. If it helps, we do have a cancellation list that can be joined by calling 123-456-7890."

Keep us posted, I would love to know how it turns out!
I will try with GMB and let you know how it goes. Unfortunately, by even responding that "it's been difficult to schedule an appointment" I would be confirming that person is a patient as our service is not available to the general public and patients must be referred by another doctor. I will perhaps try and responding with something extremely generic and vague.
 

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