The other day I received an e-mail from a physician who did not want to be included in the DrScore database of physicians that can be rated online. This physician wanted to be removed immediately and was quite passionate in her demand.
I have come to realize that there are some doctors who absolutely don’t want to be rated on the Internet. Their position may be firm because they simply fear a poor rating. More likely, however, it’s an issue of control.
Doctors tend to be incredibly hardworking, bright, driven people. (I am a doctor, and I am biased.) They like to be in charge and able to do what needs to be done to take care of their patients without interference from outside entities. But that is not the world we live in today — regulatory and insurance barriers make it harder for us to focus only on what we think is the best course of treatment for the patient. Throw in the World Wide Web and the ability for patients to get on there and tell use what they think, and WHOA! Everything seems out of control
But the fact is, the Internet is here to stay. Trying to stop patients from getting online and rating doctors is like trying to hold back the tide to preserve the row of beach cottages. It simply isn’t a sound strategy, and the doctors will continue to get battered. The better solution? Get a representative rating.
Doctors have VERY LITTLE TO FEAR from representative online ratings. The more representative the rating, the better doctors are going to look. Of the doctors with 20 or more ratings on DrScore, the average rating is about 9.3 out of 10!
As a physician and a believer in good customer service — from the parking lot to the friendly staff to the time spent with the doctor — I want to encourage doctors to stop fearing the ratings process and, instead, take control of it. Ask ALL your patients to go online and give you feedback, whether it is positive or negative. Hearing those positive comments from patients makes doctors feel really good about what we’re doing. Specific positive comments about particular aspects of our practices let us reward and reinforce the good people and systems in our medical practices. And then, remember, the negative comments are true gifts. They help direct us to become better at what we do.
With regards to the doctor who wanted to be removed from the DrScore database, my answer is simply this: DrScore will not inhibit patients from giving their doctors feedback. DrScore welcomes information from doctors to help us update our database of physicians and their professional contact information. But we will only remove a doctor’s name from the database if the doctor is no longer practicing medicine.