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To Rate Doctors Online Can Anger Them

Many people rate doctors on the Internet but there has been a drive to prevent this by physicians. This can be a real detriment to both image and patient care.

GoodFree Reprint Articles, bad or different there is a real trend among digital natives to review and comment on everything on the Internet. They will give accounts of their meals at restaurants. They will comment on the service they have gotten at a clothing store and will blog about their impressions of a theatre. It is only natural to think that they will also seek to rate doctors they have gone to. There is a growing number of websites sprouting up just for that purpose. Most people would undoubtedly say that these reviews are valuable and serve to help them make crucial decisions in regards to their medical care. On the other hand an increasing number of physicians are seeking to limit or prevent this sort of online content.

There is a trend among medical professionals to now have their clients sign a waiver that states that they will not publish reviews or rate doctors on the Internet. They see it as protecting their own interests and themselves against character assassination or vitriolic reviews written by disgruntled former patients. They see working proactively and preemptively as the best solution to the risk of having poor reviews posted online. Unfortunately they are missing out on the potential for resounding promotion and testimonials about their skill and demeanor. They are foregoing the potential for spreading good word of their practice on the off chance that someone could say something unkind.

On the bright side the waivers are merely a formality and in all reality do not provide much in the way of legal protection. A person cannot sign their rights away and the First Amendment protects freedom of speech regardless of whether they signed a waiver or not. Also because of the largely anonymous nature of what is posted online pursuing a lawsuit over comments posted to rate doctors would be largely futile.

It is not hard to see how physicians are frustrated by the tendency of patients to rate doctors. Because of the stringent rules regarding patient confidentiality there is almost no recourse to respond to or defend oneself against the accusations hurled at them. This means that when a patient complains of poor service or rushed care there is no way of the practitioner to point out that they were rude to the staff or arrived late. This has led to many physicians to opt to work proactively to establish a reputation and a presence on the web so that they show an interest and attention to the comments people make. This makes them seem as if they perhaps are addressing concerns and working to improve their care. Which isnít that the point of commenting in the first place?

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