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How should doctors respond to negative reviews?

Over on Wing of Zock today, blogger-physician Bryan Vartabedian, MD, offers some sound advice for doctors who want to respond to negative online patient reviews. He writes:

Often the first impulse is to put the law on your side. Sue the rating site or the patient and the problem will be fixed.

While we may feel some sense of satisfaction or retribution, the end result is that every curious member of the free world reads the review in question to see what the fuss is all about, creating even more commotion and controversy.

Before suggesting three concrete ways that physicians can build and enhance their online reputation, he offers this:

We should work for the amazing comments that potentially can flow from patients. Rather than [discouraging] patients to share their experiences out of fear of negative reviews, physicians should be inspired to make the value of our care so exceptional that the positive views far outnumber the negative ones.  It’s hard to get worked up about three poor reviews when you have 120 great ones.

Previously: How a “culture of permission” prevents doctors from being active in social media, Advice for physicians when interacting with patients online, 33Charts’ Bryan Vartabedian talks about physician blogging and How can physicians manage their online persona? KevinMD offers guidance

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