Wondering How to Handle Negative Online Ratings?
Side Note: Being a physician is getting more and more complicated thanks to technology –and, we’re not even talking about state-of-the-art medical advances or equipment. No, today we are talking about physicians being rated online and how they should respond to those ratings. In the era of online reviews for restaurants, plumbers, professors and products, nothing and no one is off-limits. Not even physicians.
But is this fair play? And, what is a physician to do if he or she receives a less-than-glowing review –especially if the physician feels it is not justified?
This is an especially tough situation considering the doctor-patient relationship, patient confidentiality, the fact that physicians are often bound legally to not divulge patient information and the fact that physicians are often privy to and comprehend medical information that a lay person may not have access to or an understanding of. So, while the internet theoretically creates an “even” playing field, it really does not, for the reasons just listed, and each side (doctor and patient) are at significant disadvantages, though they may not even realize it. But, what’s the answer? Asking patients to sign documents stating that they won’t discuss their care online? Gag orders?
Read on below, for the thoughtful suggestions presented. While a negative online review is not nearly as serious as charges of medical malpractice, and it doesn’t involve your medical malpractice insurance, as physician advocates it is of concern to us because it is of concern to you.
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Rated negatively online? What’s a physician to do?
From: AMedNews.com, Ethics Forum
Posted: Aug. 8, 2011
Scenario: How should professionals respond to physician-rating websites?
An increasing number of websites invite patients to rate physicians and clinics as they would restaurants. Doctors are asking if there is a fair way to react against undeserved, unfavorable comments. Is it ethical to fight back against these websites?