Facing Fabricated or Inaccurate Reviews in the Healthcare Industry
Review websites for physicians and medical practices face the same issues as other similar sites, which include inaccurate or fake feedback. The difference is that accuracy is critical in the case of doctors, because this can significant consequences.
When you go to a bad restaurant you might not enjoy the meal, but picking a bad doctor may have health-related consequences to the patient. The American Medical Association (AMA) encourages patients not to base their opinions on any anonymous reviews found online.
Reputation Management for Doctors
As the popularity of social reviewing grows, reputation management becomes essential for any doctor and physician. There are cases when some even ask patients to sign a non-disclosure agreement that they won’t use online review sites. However this is a rather negative approach to take and it’s better for doctors to take an open-minded approach to their online reputation.
Online reviews should be regarded as an opportunity for growth and encourage patients to write positive feedback. A patient who chooses a physician after being aware of their strengths and weaknesses will be easier to work with and their expectations will be appropriate to the physician’s expertise.
Building a Positive Online Reputation
The first thing a physician should do is sign up to review sites and build a profile. You will immediately provide an accurate description, current information like address, domain of expertise, awards and education. By taking a pro-active approach, will immediately eliminate untruthful information that might spread on the internet.
Show your patients that you do care about their opinion of you as a medical professional by responding to their reviews. Even negative reviews should be addressed, without being defensive and offending patients. Fake negative reviews can also be a nuisance. If someone left a fake complaint about your practice, take measures to remove the bad review, since it misrepresents your activity. Some websites may not want to remove it, but other patients could side with you if you can prove the feedback was fabricated.
Negative reviews always hurt and leave you with a bitter taste, especially if some of the claims are exaggerated. Still, negative reviews can help you shed light on possible improvements in your practice. Customers who complain about wait times or trouble with prescriptions may help you better manage your staff.
Physician review sites may not be as important to your practice as your education or experience as a doctor, but online reputation has a big influence on patients’ decisions. Embrace the shift in patient mentality by developing a strong online reputation.