By Kita McCray, JD, ByrdAdatto
Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” It’s been a couple of centuries since Franklin made this statement, yet the same remains true today. It is especially true in health care, where patient dissatisfaction can be amplified with just a few keystrokes and the click of a mouse.
On one hand, the internet has expanded our accessibility to one another and information; on the other hand, it provides a medium for bad reviews and feedback to travel further and faster than our reputations can keep up with. As a result, many patients think they “know” their providers before they ever meet them. So, what’s the solution when that one dissatisfied patient tries to start a fire by posting a negative review of you or your practice? The answer is simple: Dilute the fire—the solution to pollution is dilution.
Jeff Segal, MD, JD, a ByrdAdatto partner and CEO of Medical Justice, has built a simple strategy for dealing with negative patient reviews. Specifically, when writing a response to a negative patient review, you must remember these five golden rules:
- A model response shows the practice is reasonable and isn’t engaged in a debate;
- A model response educates the public;
- A model response addresses the concerns raised in the review;
- A model response takes the conversation offline; and
- A model response does not address the author directly.
Segal further advises that the person or employee who is responsible for locating and responding to negative reviews should commit to these rules in order to dilute or drown out the dissatisfied voices in the crowd. These rules also will help you to avoid potential violations of HIPAA or professional licensing board regulations that may cause regulators to perceive the filtering of negative reviews as false and deceptive advertising.
Remember that it takes two flints to make a fire. Engaging in a debate with a dissatisfied patient in a public way is a bottomless pit. Once you fall in, it can be difficult to pull your reputation out.
To learn more about legal and business best practices to keep your med spa compliant and profitable, attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and become the next med spa success story.
Kita McCray’s decision to become a lawyer was solidified in fourth grade after job shadowing a local lawyer in her hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana. In college, Kita dedicated all her enthusiasm and energy to becoming well-read in classic English literature before attending law school. But while working as a public health graduate researcher, she developed an interest in health law and policy, and decided to focus her legal studies toward health care law. Today, Kita brings the full scope of her multidisciplinary background to assist clients with their business and health care needs.