…..This is the age of social media and it has never been easier for practices to connect with people anywhere in the world – and while that sounds like a great thing, it has sometimes proven to be troublesome. Online reviews have become one of the main factors that can influence whether a person decides to get treated by a particular doctor or not, making it an important source of client patients. Most reviews are written by patients that have experienced healthcare with a particular practice or physician and are giving their honest feedback. When used in this way, it provides great information about how good (or bad) a doctor is at serving his clients. But there are those who abuse their rights as reviewers – people that leave very insulting, tasteless, and slanderous reviews in an attempt to besmirch the reputation of a particular doctor – usually due to differences in opinion on popularly debated topics. This type of behavior is destructive, unfair, and can be difficult to deal with – but is something all doctors must be aware of so that contingencies can be made in order to control the damage.
….Doctors need to be careful, however, when dealing with online attacks – because HIPAA prevents them from defending themselves and their practice. This is because federal law states that it is illegal for doctors to share their patients’ health care data, a law that is fiercely upheld by the Government. Merely acknowledging that a particular medical issue exists is already grounds for a lawsuit, even if it was the reviewer who instigated the discussion, so one must be incredibly careful when dealing with this. Most doctors have become resigned to the fact that fake reviews happen and simply ignore them – but with the recent boom in online attacks, physicians must know the best possible ways to manage their social media reviews.
…..Some practices hire people to manage their social media accounts and allow them to engage their clientele in a professional manner by addressing any legitimate concerns – but when it comes to internet trolls and fake reviewers, often the best solution is to delete their reviews. Some may view the fact that you are deleting reviews to be attempts at hiding the truth, but simply informing clients about fake reviews without being specific can go a long way in getting them to understand the problem. Furthermore, if you have left the less-than-stellar, but honest, reviews on the board, then it will be easier for people to see that you are accepting of criticism as long as it is truthful.
….Another great way to tackle this problem is to find partners that can handle them for you. TukkoMed’s goal is to lend a helping hand, so that doctors are free to do what they do best – by doing what we do best. Call us today and discover services tailor-made just for you.