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Post Series: CareDash

CareDash promotes itself as the most transparent healthcare review platform, giving patients a secure place to leave their feedback and to read about what others have to say about different providers.

If you’re a doctor, this is exactly the kind of environment you want to route your patients toward to get more positive reviews.

But what happens when someone leaves a scathing negative review or, worse yet, a fake one?

It can be a frustrating experience, especially after spending so many years learning how to give your patients the best care possible. To help you handle a negative or fake review on your CareDash profile, we’ve put together this guide.

How CareDash Handles Reviews

CareDash, as we’ve mentioned before, places a lot of pride on creating the most transparent and patient-oriented platform for medical review. That’s exactly why we placed it on our Top 10 Best Review Sites for Patients list. InboundMD CEO, Garrett Smith, even sat down with CareDash founder, Ted Chan, for an interview on how CareDash manages reviews in 2016.

Unlike some of the other platforms out there, CareDash does not automatically publish reviews as they roll in.

Each review is reviewed by a member of the CareDash team to ensure that it meets content standards. This means that any review that breaks their policy will not be posted. For many doctors who are on the receiving end of a scathing or fake review, this may be a saving grace.

CareDash has built a level of protection for doctors directly into their Review Policy.

Posting inappropriate content as part of a review will result in that review not being published or being edited to remove the inappropriate content prior to publication. They write:

Threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry are strictly prohibited and will be removed from the CareDash website. To ensure these guidelines are being followed, we may moderate all reviews and content posted on the CareDash website. CareDash reserves the right to remove posted content at any time for any reason or no reason from the CareDash website. We may edit or remove posted content for the following reasons:

  • Appropriateness of content (curse words, racism, SPAM, etc.)
  • Removal or deletion of typos
  • Spell checking in very obvious cases
  • Redaction of personal information that may expose confidential health care info
  • Deletion of reviews that do not appear to be left by an actual patient (fake reviews, self reviews, etc.)

So, on a basic level, CareDash is also looking out for the providers listed on their website by ensuring that inappropriate content isn’t published to their profile. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a negative or fake review will be deleted automatically if it doesn’t violate their content policy.

Does CareDash Remove Fake or Negative Reviews?

CareDash has done a great job of publishing great information for both patients and providers about how the review system works.

On the patient side of things, CareDash promises to never suppress or delete a comment solely based on the provider asking. If it does not violate the CareDash content policy, a review will be published and remain securely on that profile.

From the Patient FAQ:

For providers, it may seem like CareDash has prioritized the patients. Though this is the case, it’s important to remember that giving patients a safe space to post their feedback is a vital part of modern healthcare. In a world filled with paid, fake reviews, it has never been more important to give patients a place where they can truly make an informed decision about who their next provider will be.

As they mention in their  Healthcare Provider FAQ, CareDash “does not accept payment in any form to remove or suppress negative reviews.”

However, if you do disagree with a review, CareDash has built in a process for you to appeal that review. If someone has posted a negative or fake review to your profile, you can simply reach out to

Check out the step-by-step process below:

Getting a Negative or Fake Review Removed From Your CareDash Profile

Since CareDash does not accept any form of payment to remove or suppress a review, you have a few options left when it comes to getting a negative or fake review removed from your profile.

Respond to the Review

When a negative or fake review is left on your profile, the first step you can take is actually responding to the review.

Make sure that the name correlates to a patient in your office. You can check for name variations to account for nicknames, such as a review being left by a “Liz R.” instead of “Elizabeth R.” Family members may also post reviews on behalf of their loved ones, so taking the time to investigate can help you narrow down whether this is a fake review or simply someone discussing their negative experience at your practice.

If you have found that the review likely came from a real patient, you will want to address them directly in your response. Make sure to not share any personal information that would violate HIPAA by thanking them for their feedback and welcoming them to discuss the matter privately with you.

A response in this situation could be:

“Hi Liz, I’m sorry to hear that you had this experience at our practice. It’s our goal to provide every patient with a great experience, so I’d love to personally discuss what happened with you to see how we may improve. Contact me at 123-456-7890 whenever is most convenient for you.”

Similarly, if the poster is a patient but none of your staff can remember the described situation happening, or you fear a miscommunication may have caused their negative experience, you can say:

“Hi Liz, I’m sorry to hear about this. It’s our goal to provide every patient with a great experience. The situation you mentioned doesn’t ring a bell to our staff, so I’d love to personally discuss what happened with you to see how we may improve. Contact me at 123-456-7890 whenever is most convenient for you.”

Responding to a Fake Review

Once you’ve looked into the poster and cannot find someone who may be the poster, or the review is too unbelievable, you may move forward as if it’s a fake review.

Remember: you should not automatically assume each negative review is fake. Even if you cannot narrow down who the patient is, please handle this situation delicately and do not accuse someone of being a fake reviewer. As potential patients browse your profile in the future, they will not know that the review is fake and only see an accusatory response from you.

If you believe that a review was left for the wrong practice, you can respond with:

“Hi Liz R., we really appreciate your feedback and are sorry to hear about your negative experience. We haven’t been able to confirm you as a patient of ours; is it possible that you meant to leave this review on a different profile? Regardless, we’d love to talk to you personally about the situation to find out how we may improve if it happened within our office. Please contact me at 123-456-7890”

By posting a thoughtful response, you’ll be able to show prospective patients that you care and are focused on improving your patient experience.

Continually Gain New, Positive Feedback

One of the best things you can do is to constantly gain new feedback from patients.

If you have a strong reputation management strategy in place, all of your patients will be asked to leave a review about their experience – and they can be routed directly to your CareDash profile.

By soliciting honest reviews from your patients, both in-person at the office and by using a tool, receiving a negative review won’t cause catastrophic damage your practice’s rating.

For more information on CareDash or how InboundMD can help you manage your online reputation, please contact us or schedule demo of our services.

Garrett Smith

Garrett is the Founder, and Chief Marketer at InboundMD. Garrett has been successfully leading internet marketing campaigns for health care practices across the US for almost a decade. He's a frequent speaker at events, and author of "Book Now! Internet Marketing for Healthcare Practices", and the host of The Practice Marketing Podcast that details how successful practices are winning online.

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