Webinars

Online Reputation: The Difference Between Success and Bankruptcy

Online Reputation: The Difference Between Success and Bankruptcy

Thu, Feb 18, 2016
12:00pm to 1:00pm CT

Description

Patients are flocking to the Internet to choose a doctor. Jeff Segal, M.D. discussed how doctors can get actionable feedback internally and reviews posted online.

Also discussed in the webinar:

  • Understand the impact of doctor review sites on reputation
  • Understand what remedies are available to address a reputational assault
  • Understand what strategies can be implemented to promote positive reputation in cyberspace - and promote a thriving practice

Location

In Person

This webinar is free for members of the Social Media Health Network. Registration for non-members is $95.

Questions? Contact:

Questions? For swift response, send email to: socialmediacenter@mayo.edu.

Posted by @LeeAase, Feb 18, 2016

Welcome to the webinar…please post any questions you have for Jeff in the box above

MEMBER
Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2385
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Feb 18, 2016

Question: Yelp has recently listed some practices they penalize for: paying for positive reviews or offering incentives. But they’ve also warned businesses against even inviting customers to submit a review. Should we be concerned about this? What is okay and what is not?

keyonda
@keyonda

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 18, 2016
Posted by @keyonda, Feb 18, 2016

Can you please say again the percentage of people who have referrals also search online for doctors?

MEMBER
Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2385
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Feb 18, 2016

Can a practice give patients a discount or a gift card for writing a review?

MEMBER
Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2385
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Feb 18, 2016

Suppose a doctor receives a negative review online and knows the patient is coming in next week. Should he or she bring up the review with the patient? Stop seeing the patient?

MEMBER
Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2385
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Feb 18, 2016

What should I tell a doctor who wants to sue a patient over a slanderous negative review?

MEMBER
Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2385
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Feb 18, 2016

MSchunhoff asks: What are some best practices and proper ways to respond to social media reviews on hospital pages that are negative?

Jeff Segal
@jeffsegal

Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 15, 2012
Posted by @jeffsegal, Feb 19, 2016

While these questions were answered in the webinar, I’ll reiterate my answers below…

MSchunhoff: What are some best practices and proper ways to respond to social media reviews on hospital pages that are negative?
If you know who the patient is, and it’s possible to “make it right”, reach out to the patient privately and engage in service recovery. If you have solved the patient’s problem, ask if they would be willing to update or remove their review. Couch it as “It’s a request; not a demand. You’ll respect whatever they decide.” If the negative review is not updated by the patient, you can respond online, but REMEMBER HIPAA. You cannot reveal any protected health information; including even acknowledging the poster is a patient. So, if the patient has been identified by name or even picture, options are limited. But, you CAN respond broadly about practice philosophy, and how you generally handle particular complaints.

What should I tell a doctor who wants to sue a patient over a slanderous negative review?
I recommend AGAINST suing a patient or a review site for libel except in the rarest of circumstances. Here’s why? First, it is virtually legally impossible to successfully sue a review site. They are immunized by a federal law called Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. Moreover, if you try to sue such a site, in some states, the site may be able to countersue you for something known as SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). If the review site prevails, you will be liable for THEIR legal fees. Ouch.
Regarding suing a patient, proving defamation is difficult. A patient’s opinion is protected. A lawsuit would be long, expensive, and the outcome capricious. More importantly, if you sue a patient, you are guaranteeing your lawsuit will become a page one Google search result. So, resist the urge.

Suppose a doctor receives a negative review online and knows the patient is coming in next week. Should he or she bring up the review with the patient? Stop seeing the patient?
It depends upon what the patient wrote and the pre-existing relationship. Typically, it makes sense to bring it up with the patient at the visit. Let the patient know you saw the review and would like to better understand the reason for the angst. If you can address the problem, great. If the patient is happy, ask (as referenced above) if they would be willing to update or remove their review. Couch it as “It’s a request; not a demand. If the patient is hot and cold – pleasant at the visit and vicious online, there may be an underlying psychological or psychiatric issue. I’ve seen this. It’s rare, but it does happen. In such circumstances, see if the patient can be referred for diagnosis / treatment.

Can a practice give patients a discount or a gift card for writing a review?
No. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that any “consideration” (including discount, money, free procedures, gift cards, etc) given to a consumer for a testimonial (in this case a review) needs to be disclosed in the review. So, such a review, if compliant, would read “Dr. Segal is a great surgeon. His office gave me a $100 discount to write this review.” You can see how that review would be devalued in the eyes of the public. But, if the disclosure is not included, then the review would not be compliant. So, no cash for reviews. No consideration for reviews.

Can you please say again the percentage of people who have referrals also search online for doctors?
27% of patients find their doctor initially on the Internet. ~27% of patients are referred from other doctors. 37% of patients are referred from friends/family. Even if patients find their doctor the traditional ways, referred by friends/family/or another doctor, the majority of such patients are still going to the Internet to validate that decision.

Question: Yelp has recently listed some practices they penalize for: paying for positive reviews or offering incentives. But they’ve also warned businesses against even inviting customers to submit a review. Should we be concerned about this?
Agree that it is not appropriate to pay for reviews – or provide any consideration. That conforms to guidelines mandated by the Federal Trade Commission. I personally don’t see any significant issues arising from asking patients for feedback by posting from their house or their smartphone.

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