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Heartland Dental Blog

Welcome to our blog - a home for information on the dental industry and dental support organizations, updates on Heartland Dental, and tips for success in the rewarding field of dentistry. We encourage you to explore this blog for thoughts, dental information, and tips. If you'd like to stay connected to Heartland Dental and receive informative updates on the latest happenings in dentistry, simply click "Subscribe."

Following HIPAA Standards When Responding to Negative Patient Reviews

For most dentists, treating patients is a joyful experience, and the patient leaves the practice feeling taken care of and excited about their clean, healthy, beautiful teeth. Sometimes, though, accidents can happen or things can go wrong: an overflow of patients causes a prolonged wait in the lobby, a traffic accident on the way to work causes a missed appointment, or any number of life's little surprises causes a patient to have a bad experience.

Midwinter Meeting Spotlight | A Passion for Dental Knowledge and Empowerment

Midwinter Meeting Spotlight | A Passion for Dental Knowledge and Empowerment


Later this week, dental professionals from across the country will descend on Chicago for the 155th Midwinter Meeting. Starting Thursday, February 20, and wrapping up Saturday, February 22, members of the dental community will gather to learn from leaders in dental...

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If a patient does leave a bad review on Google+, Yelp, or any other popular review site, you have to be very careful when responding to it: failing to follow HIPAA guidelines in your response can cause severe penalties. There are still things you can do, though, and following these tips will help you respond graciously to negative reviews without violating HIPAA code.

Make Responses General & Never Acknowledge That the Reviewer Was a Patient

While it may be tempting to tell your side of the story, acknowledging the reviewer as a patient of your practice is a violation of HIPAA policy and may cause serious consequences. To avoid this, make your response general by citing your overall policy in response to whatever situation the patient brings up in the review - if they had to wait for an appointment, you might point out that in emergencies situations, you sometimes have to delay appointments.

Encourage Your Proponents

Another technique for addressing negative reviews is to focus more on the positives. Instead of simply responding to problems, encourage the patients who do love you and your practice to make their views known online - promoting your review outlets on social media is a great way to garner more reviews.

Go Offline

While you can't acknowledge a patient in a public review, contacting them directly can often yield even better results. They'll likely be pleasantly surprised that you took on yourself to reach out and resolve the situation, and you'll be able to communicate more freely and personally to find a solution. If you do not have their contact information handy, kindly asking them to reach out to you offline via a response is a good approach.

Contact Your Dental Support Experts

We hope you find these tips helpful, and if you're one of our supported offices, rest assured that you always have the help of the full Heartland Dental team of patient satisfaction experts to help you deal with any negative patient situations if they arise. If you'd like to find out more about Heartland Dental or join our family, feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or apply to be an affiliated practice.