In a discussion with doctors on the value of online rating, some doctors expressed the very reasonable concern that anonymous online ratings let people trash their doctor and their doctor’s reputation. Doing that, some doctors said, is completely unfair, especially since patient confidentiality rules completely preclude doctors from responding. There is a lot of merit to that thinking.
One doctor suggested that patients should be required to give their name when posting online, saying, “If I had something bad to say about a doctor, I’d be more reluctant to say it if I had to identify myself.”
That doctor is, in my opinion, absolutely right. HOWEVER, that is why DrScore makes the doctor rating process anonymous.
Doctors need patients to feel completely open to giving their doctors both positive and negative feedback on their medical experiences. The negative feedback is a gift, truly a gift — one doctor I know called it a “teachable moment” — that we doctors can use to make our patients’ medical care experiences better. I know it has for me.
It’s a scary prospect for some doctors, the thought that we should do everything we can to encourage patients — happy or unhappy — to give us online feedback. But it should not be scary. Doctors are so committed to and good at giving their patients great medical care that doctors with 10 or more ratings have average scores that are well over 9 out of 10. The fact that so many people love their doctors should make it much easier and more palatable for us to accept the negative criticisms when they come.