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Medical Reputation Managment – Orlando Doctor Sues Patient?

Yesterday I read a story about a Doctor in Orlando that is suing a patient. This brought up many interesting questions and a few conversations with plastic surgeons late last night concerning medical reputation management.

If you have time, take a look at the story here-

Orlando Doctor sues patient over online post

 

How much damage can be caused by just a few bad reviews?

I believe it is said, if you have a happy customer, they will tell one person, if you have a disgruntled customer, they will tell 20. This has changed quite a bit as we all know. Today, I would estimate that maybe 1 out of 100 happy customers will post a review for you online, without being asked to do so. Since this customer is “happy,” there will be a positive review. On the other hand, one out of seven unhappy customers will post a negative review online.

Five hundred happy patients turns into 5 positive reviews. Thirty unhappy patients turn into 4-5 negative reviews. Keep in mind the multiplier is huge here, as hundreds if not thousands of people will read these reviews each month.

Who reads reviews anyways?

Over the last few months I have spent quite a bit of time looking at reviews for various businesses. I am getting married in June, and planning the wedding has led me to read a large number of online reviews.  I have looked at limousine company reviews. It’s a shiny car, but will it be clean for us? Check reviews. Need to hire a band. They sound good, but will they show up on time? Check reviews. I bought a new house last month. It’s time to hire a moving company.  Is their quote real, or will I get a surprise $400 gas surcharge? Check reviews…  I, like most people, would be much more inclined to “warn” other people after having a terrible experience with a business.

What if most of my reviews are positive?

One thing I noticed was how much weight I put on the negative reviews compared to the positive reviews. The negative reviews just seemed to scream out, “pay the most amount of attention to me!”  The positive reviews seemed to stay very quiet, almost whispering, “These were posted by the owner, these are fake!” Almost every time I read a review for a moving company, a doctor, or even a stereo receiver at Best Buy, I always take a peek at the “5 star reviews,” but I always click on the one star reviews as well.”  There is no doubt in my mind that one negative review outweighs 3-5 positive reviews.

Fake reviews, Astro-Turfing , and why anonymous reviews should be stopped!

I hear horror stories all the time from medical practices claiming they have been the victim of unfair, unwarranted, and possibly illegal fake reviews. I spoke with a4 plastic surgeon, who first called us for SEO, and then explained that his ex-girlfriend went online and posted dozens of fake reviews as a way of “getting back at him.”  I also spoke with a client who had a number of negative reviews all based on the same procedure that he didn’t, doesn’t, and never has performed.  He has his suspicions in regards to which one of his competitors wrote the reviews.

Thankfully this subject may make its way to congress, it has started in my home state of NY http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-57440895-501465/new-york-lawmakers-propose-ban-on-anonymous-online-comments/

While I am all for free speech, I believe if you have something negative to say about someone, you should have no problems putting your name next to it. People are being seriously hurt by fake reviews and Astro-Turfing.  Not sure what Astro-Turfing is? Take a look

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/technology/internet/15lift.html

Is suing the patient a smart form of medical reputation management?

While it is certainly one form, it’s most likely not the best form. I am not sure if suing a patient is the right thing to do or not. While I do not believe people should allow themselves to be walked all over, suing could bring personal damages to a whole other level. The number of people checking reviews is greater than ever. Anytime someone searches the name of this Doctor, this story is going to come up.  Along with this story, search results will also show this negative review, as well as any other negative review that may have been made concerning this doctor.   This only draws more attention and increases exposure. Google’s algorithm and search engine optimization is set up in a way that this story will almost certainly dominate the web for the year to come. Not only will people see the negative reviews in my opinion, they may choose to not voice their opinion for fear of being sued.

 What can I do to protect my practice? 

In the next few days I will put together bullet points on how you can protect yourself without filing lawsuits. There are very cost effective ways to protect your assets while actually bringing new patients into your office yielding a significant ROI. Once I have completed these, I will post the link here. Till then feel free to voice your opinion here, I would love the feedback so I may better help you and your peers.

Update: To read the steps that have already been provided, click the links below.

Medical Reputation Managment | Step 1

Medical Reputation Managment | Step 2

Patrick Chavoustie

CEO

OmniMedicalMarketing.com

patrick@omnimedicalmarketing.com

303 588 8187