Why Doctors Suffer from Negative Reviews
It’s a well-known fact in the healthcare industry that a handful of negative reviews can seriously hurt a doctor’s career or put their practice in danger of being closed. In many of these cases, filing a lawsuit or getting rid of the negatives comments won’t be enough to stem the tide of negative opinion. Many doctors are left feeling vulnerable and helpless after suffering from an attack like this.
If you want to avoid this problem, or at least be able to counter it, then you need to know why your patients would be complaining about you. Here are the primary reasons why people file complaints against doctors online.
An attitude of not caring
Many times, your patients won’t be upset at what you said or what you did but how you did or said it. They simply don’t like doctors who seem indifferent to their plights, and they may complain to other people about it. Many times, they will tell you things that don’t have any bearing on the problem at hand. They may complain about health problems that are entirely unrelated to what you are diagnosing and treating them for, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to listen to them.
A poor bedside manner
While this goes hand in hand with a dismissive demeanour, it is a little broader and wider reaching. If you argue with your patient or disagree with them, or you try to make excuses or blame those around you, then patients won’t take too kindly to you. You also don’t want to make their feelings seem unimportant. If you want to avoid this common complaint, then you have to learn to communicate well and be polite. This is especially true with patients who are clingy or needy.
Problems with administration
Many patients may not be complaining about you specifically, but they may be complaining more about the healthcare experience as a whole. They may have issues with billing errors, the level of bureaucracy in force at the hospital or practice, customer service personnel or nurses who were rude or many other things you may not have direct control over. You have to realize which of these you can influence and change and which you can’t and try not to sweat what you are unable to do anything about. What you can do is be clearer in your communication and ensure all relevant policies are explained fully. You can also make sure your staff are trained properly.
Poor management of your time
Many times, your schedule can be completely crazy, with little time to give each patient the kind of attention they want. It can also mean that many patients have to wait a long time to be seen. These things may not happen the way you plan them, but you do need to realize how frustrating they can be for your patients. It can help to simply apologize to your patients if you can’t do much about their long wait times.
Insufficient transport and parking
You may not have any control over how much parking space is available for your customers or how difficult it is to get a ride to your practice. However, your patients are still going to get upset if they come to your office and they don’t have a good place to park. They can also get upset if there is no easy access for them into your building. Your best strategy here is to empathize with them, listen to what they have to say and explain your lack of control over the situation and how frustrating it is for you as well. If you can apologise and be a good listener, then your patients will appreciate that.
Low quality care
It may rile you up and put you on the defensive when someone questions your skill as a doctor. However, if your patients feel they have been mistreated or that you didn’t do a good enough job taking care of them, then they are going to tell people about how unhappy they are. You understand the risks involved with medical procedures and how complications can occur unexpectedly, but your patients may not. How you deal with this kind of situation will determine how happy or unhappy your patient will be with you.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a bad review, you should know that you can do something about it. However, it is more efficient and easier to prevent the problem by making some of the changes above. If you know why your patients complain, then that can go a long way toward helping you prevent future complaints and protecting your practice or career from negative reviews.