But first of all let’s make absolutely clear what a physician should NOT do in response to negative comments: Do NOT sue the patient.
The lawsuit filed by Dr. David McKee, a neurologist from Duluth, Minnesota, is a case in point. Dr. McKee sued a patient’s son for defamation after he posted negative online reviews. Apparently the son was spreading the heinous charge that Dr. McKee is “a real tool.”
The case has been pursued all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, with witnesses called to reinforce the fact that the son of his patient really did refer to Dr. McKee as “a real tool.”
Is there anyone on earth thinking right now, “Hey, I think I’ll call that guy Dr. McKee for an appointment today. He’s really standing up for unfair attacks on physicians.”
So please, physicians, don’t sue your patients over negative online reviews. Instead, learn from them.
- Pick your battles.
- Use the feedback to improve your practice.
- Craft a response that demonstrates a commitment to improvement.
- Reach out to the patient who posted the negative rreview.
- Work with the rating service to get truly libelous reviews removed
- Encourage happy patients to post reviews.
Much better advice than a lawsuit!
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