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  • What to do for false bad reviews?

    Hey yall,
    I Haven't had this happen to me yet, but I was wondering what everyone's input is on patients leaving real/false bad reviews online?
    I've spoken to other physicians who they've received bad reviews for either not doing what the patient wanted, misunderstanding, or any number of things.

    1) Can you respond to these reviews? is it considered a HIPAA violation?
    2) Do you discharge the patient from your care?
    3) Bring it up with management?
    4) Speak to the patient?
    5) Nothing to do

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by SpeedingTicket View Post
    Hey yall,
    I Haven't had this happen to me yet, but I was wondering what everyone's input is on patients leaving real/false bad reviews online?
    I've spoken to other physicians who they've received bad reviews for either not doing what the patient wanted, misunderstanding, or any number of things.

    1) Can you respond to these reviews? is it considered a HIPAA violation?
    2) Do you discharge the patient from your care?
    3) Bring it up with management?
    4) Speak to the patient?
    5) Nothing to do

    Thanks!
    not an expert or can provide legal opinion but my personal opinion

    few things you can consider

    I wouldn’t reply, nor speak to pt . Not speak to management .
    More good reviews overshadow some bad ones
    I think someone recently sued and won against a pt ( I don’t know I would ever do it, unless it is is egregious and completely false and causes me a big loss , otherwise a waste of time and money in my opinion )

    If it is elective condition, I would discharge with few names provided to pt ( according to your state law ) . I am a surgeon , so I would never operate on a pt already angry with me . I think you still need to provide care for sometime still. This you need to check with management or risk management
    Last edited by uksho; 05-11-2022, 04:28 AM.

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    • #3
      This happened to me a long time ago. Don’t reply or engage- but it is very reasonable to solicit positive reviews. Particularly if you are new /still building a practice.

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      • #4
        How do you guys feel about soliciting patient reviews? I've seen some that are clearly pushing it based on the large numbers and responses written as if it was their first encounter with the physician. Feels kind of smarmy to me.

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        • #5
          I have one bad review left by a pt who was mad that I didn't know they were filling their lamotrigine rx for 100mg one month and 50mg the next month and alternating it instead of filling both at the same time to take a consistent dose each month as any normal human being would do 🤦‍♀️ I just left it alone as I'm employed and will always have plenty of work regardless.

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          • #6
            I have a few bad reviews(over stupid stuff too) but they're drowned out by a ton more positive reviews, so I do nothing

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            • #7
              I received a bad review after I discharged a borderline patient for threatening me. I emailed the review site, requesting that it be removed because it was due to an angry patient that was seeking retribution (no other details given). I pointed out that the remaining reviews were all 5 stars, and this was clearly inconsistent with the other comments. They promptly removed it. As psychologists, we are not permitted to request reviews, which I believe is a good policy. I feel that it is unprofessional to request a review, especially in the healthcare field.

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              • #8
                From a patient point of view, reviews can matter.
                There is irony. Number of stars vs the content of the review. As a comfort, the comments on a physician usually show the patient is the issue, not the physician. I would only suggest being concerned if the patient was right and accurate. As a standard practice, soliciting reviews is perfectly acceptable. The old professional barriers in advertising are obsolete. Patients realize many healthcare systems promote inbreeding for referrals. They want options. I view ratings as a benefit to potential patients. Not a thing wrong with letting the world know you are great.
                Reviews (in moderation) are here to stay.
                Last edited by Tim; 05-11-2022, 04:41 AM.

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                • #9
                  I had a bad review after being the 4th ENT physician this patient had seen for chronic eustachian tube dysfunction. She had already had multiple other treatments (steroids, tubes, nasal sprays, balloon dilation, etc...) and I told her I didn't think there was anything that could be done to help her problem. She complained that I "didn't solve her problem". Don't engage. Hopefully all of the positive reviews outweigh the few annoying negative posts.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PainShrink View Post
                    I received a bad review after I discharged a borderline patient for threatening me. I emailed the review site, requesting that it be removed because it was due to an angry patient that was seeking retribution (no other details given). I pointed out that the remaining reviews were all 5 stars, and this was clearly inconsistent with the other comments. They promptly removed it. As psychologists, we are not permitted to request reviews, which I believe is a good policy. I feel that it is unprofessional to request a review, especially in the healthcare field.
                    I have zero issue with someone asking for a review. Just say, hey, can you leave us a review if you have time? Also, ask them what you could do better. We live in a world of reviews.

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                    • #11
                      I have a negative review because a patient I never even saw reported that “the front desk lady was rude.” The patient’s neurologist was supposed to fax over their EMG/NCS and the receptionist told her it hadn’t been received into our system. This was apparently enough for the patient to cancel their appointment and then leave a bad review. Since I am hospital employed I also have no say over staffing. The receptionist in question can be brusque and I can see how some people would interpret it as rude.

                      I wrote the reviewing site and asked them to remove it since it wasn’t even technically about me, but they refused. That review has since been drowned out by many other positive reviews, so I don’t worry about it.

                      I have a partner who had a patient leave a scathing review (multiple, actually) after she sustained a hand laceration with nerve and tendon involvement and didn’t get full sensation back. As if we have control over nerve healing or regeneration. She also tried to sue my partner but it didn’t get past the discovery stage since it was baseless.

                      Moral of the story—some patients are crazy and will never be satisfied, no matter what you do. If there is something inaccurate it might be worth sending an email to the review site asking to have it removed. I wouldn’t go beyond that, however.

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                      • #12
                        Personally, the thought of someone not coming to see me because they read a bad review of me online gives me great pleasure. The vast majority of my patients are sent by physician referral or from other satisfied patients. Some of my worst patients have made appointments just because they found me online. Remember the old yellow pages? I used to joke that the worst patients found me by searching for a doctor in the yellow pages.

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                        • #13
                          Having good online reviews are absolutely critical to running a successful practice and "being a good doctor" in your patients' eyes. I'm an orthopedic surgeon, but I founded SurgiSurvey (surgisurvey.com) to help doctors generate good online reviews because it's so important.

                          To answer the op's question: "the solution to pollution is dilution." It's very hard to have a negative review removed, even if it's false. The best answer is to have hundreds of 5-star reviews from all your happy patients. The great news is that most doctors are loved by 99% of their patients, and then there's 1% that can never be pleased. That's just how it goes.

                          It really doesn't matter where your referrals come from, having good online reviews is about building patient trust. Patients (and their family members) will google you and read your reviews online, and nobody wants to visit a doctor with bad reviews. For example, if your neighbor recommended a car mechanic and said he was the "best mechanic in the world" wouldn't you be a little confused if he had no online reputation to speak of? Or worse yet, just a couple bad reviews? Same for doctors. If you're "so good" then why don't you have hundreds of happy patients leaving you good reviews? The answer, of course, is because we never ask.

                          It's easy to ask patients to leave reviews, and SurgiSurvey is the software I built that does it for you, automatically. I can generally help any doctor get 50+ new 5-star reviews in 2 weeks or less. If you're interested, visit SurgiSurvey.com or reach out directly. I'm happy to help.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EastBayHand View Post
                            Having good online reviews are absolutely critical to running a successful practice and "being a good doctor" in your patients' eyes.
                            Really?

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                            • #15
                              honestly sometimes those bad reviews of won't refill my pain medication, won't fill out my disability paperwork are more helpful than hurtful

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