It seems some doctors want to keep their patients quiet. Some practices have imposed mandatory gag orders that prevent patients from posting commentary on rating sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. This is insane. Let the patients speak.
The suggestion that you can control public dialog reflects an embarrassing misunderstanding of the how the world shares information. These gag orders showcase how desperately disconnected some corners of the medical community have become.
Can you imagine if the purchase of a pair of shoes at Nordstrom was contingent on the completion of a nondisclosure?
Physicians should encourage dialog. How about we work to assure that our level of service and care is so extraordinary that the conversation is largely positive? And there will always be unsatisfied customers. But the mob is pretty smart. If, however, public criticism is valid and widely accepted, you got some explainin’ to do.
Physicians also need be proactive in the creation of searchable content that references their name or practice. Rather than seeing ourselves as potential victims of what others might say, we should be creating our own story with phenomenal content and dialog. The good will dilute the less-than-flattering.
And when you don’t let patients speak and try to make things that you don’t like go away, you may witness the Streisand effect.