How To Maintain Your Reputation

Marketing is good medical practice

I was giving a talk at the Royal Society of Medicine last month about how good marketing is all about building relationships and giving good service to patients, which at the end of the day, is good medical practice. 

I was very interested to hear one of the talks which covered the issue of أسعار تجارة الذهب بجدة protecting your online reputation. 

It was very much based around a legal standpoint talking about how you can use get link PR and legal advice to help manage any publication of unfavourable stories about you.

The talk was really looking at newspapers and major publications and one of the surgeons in the audience made a point that he had had a bad review and had spent a lot of money on a lawyer only to be told that nothing could be done and the review was left to stand.

I think the problem is that when talks are given by lawyers and PR people, they think that managing your online reputation is about making sure that there are no bad articles written in the press about you.

…but for most normal surgeons and doctors they are less likely to be attacked by the national newspapers, but much كسب المال مع إشارات الخيارات الثنائية more likely to receive a bad review from a patient.

Particularly in the online connected world that we now live in where everyone has a smartphone where they can follow site tell the world about their experience as they walk out of the clinic. 

click here This is the thing that I think we should fear more than the Daily Mail or some other national newspaper, as this is the thing that is much more likely to affect us.

In fact, I wrote a blog about this in the past.

The fact of the matter is, that no matter how nice we are and how good a doctor we are, there will always be patients who for whatever reason, may not be completely happy with what we have done for them and these patients are completely at liberty to write a review saying that they are تجارة نت الذهب unhappy with us and the way that we have treated them.

If this happens, click here I do not necessarily think the right thing to do is to go to a lawyer to see if the review can be taken down, because after all, that is the point of reviews and it would be wrong to take down a review just because it says something negative.

Clearly if there is something هل تم تخصيص اسهم اسمنت ام القراء false, fraudulent or defamatory, then you may well have grounds to have it removed, and quite rightly so.

But if they simply say they are unhappy with the outcome and they do not think you are a particularly good doctor, you cannot really do anything to remove that. 

My view is that it is far more important to make sure that you protect yourself against these events by شراء اسهم سوق مسقط عن طريق نت encouraging patients at every stage to leave a review.

If you are a good doctor trying to go site build relationships and give good service to patients, you are likely to be able to build up some good reviews, so that if and when a bad review does come, it will be diluted.

Furthermore, I think it is important to الخيارات الثنائية مراجعة Nadex respond to the review.

You may feel that you have already done that privately, but it is important to give a public face to your response.

I have a particular dislike for BT and I have had untold problems with them in my clinic, but I am still impressed by their Twitter account which is constantly scanning Twitter for any negative comments about them and they respond in a very nice way.

While it is frustrating for the the complainant because he or she just wants to vent their frustration, it does look good to the outside they are taking the time to respond and trying to طريقه التسجيل في بنك الرياض للاسهم engage with the complainant and I think we must do the same.

I think it can actually be quite damaging to seek legal help to take down a review if it is a genuine review from a patient and is factually correct.

At the end of the day if we are getting a lot of bad reviews then maybe patients should be swayed away from coming to see us because we are not doing a good job.

The problem that I see, is where doctors do not engage with the online world and do not try to get any positive reviews out there.

While they may have countless thank-you cards and notes from patients, it is the one unhappy patient who chooses to go on-line that will then come top of the searches and make that doctor look like a bad doctor.

I think we have no choice but to protect ourselves from the inevitable unhappy patients that we will have…

… by building up an army of happy patients who can put the negative review in context and help us to mitigate any harm that comes from it.

That is how to protect your online reputation…

…by first and foremost making sure that we are building relationships and giving good service to patients

…and then asking them to put something online to help inform other patients.

In this way we can build up our armoury so that we are not knocked down by the first arrow that is shot at us, because like it or not, we are easy targets and you more than likely will get a few pot shots over your career.

Maybe Independent Private Practice Is Not For You

Many doctors do not have an online presence. For some this is because they are very busy, and certainly with an NHS practice, there is no need to promote your services as there will always be a continuous stream of patients.

However, for others, it is because they are uncomfortable being directly accessible to patients and they have fears that there may be negative reviews and comments posted.  I understand this fear and I think it is very common for doctors to feel vulnerable in this way.

Medicine is not a precise science and no matter how conscientious you are, things will go wrong and some patients will have an unfavourable outcome.

Furthermore, there will always be some patients who may have a good clinical result, but will still be unhappy, perhaps because of their expectation of the result, or maybe because they feel that they have not been treated well.

We all know that unhappy patients are more likely to post reviews than happy patients (see ‘worried about bad reviews’ blog post) and so doctor’s fears have a solid founding.

However, while we all know that adverse outcomes do happen, the idea is that we get good outcomes most of the time.

This is something that I have learned about being in full-time independent practice.

You have to be good

You have to be constantly aware and focused on getting an excellent outcome for each and every patient.   This does not necessarily mean that you cannot have complications, as these are inevitable.  However, you need to minimise your complications by being meticulous in your techniques and your postop processes and you need to be robust in your management of complications.

I have found that some of my most grateful patients are the ones that have suffered complications.

all doctors will get complications, but it is how you deal with those complications that is important

If you are in independent private practice, there is no room to hide with a mediocre practice and service in the same way that you can if you work for a bigger organisation like the NHS or a commercial private company.

It can be a harsh environment and it is easy to feel threatened and isolated. If you have a patient who is unhappy, it is easy to put an inordinate amount of focus on to that and to feel insecure.

This is why it is so important to nurture and cultivate the positives in your practice so that you can build a buffer that will protect you in times of difficulty.

But you can only build the buffer if you are good.

Not just a good surgeon, but good to your patients in how you treat them and talk to them.

And not just in the way that you treat and talk to them, but how everyone who has contact with them treats and talks to them.

At the end of the day, all of this is good medicine.

We are treating patients and trying to get the best outcome that we can.

If you are afraid of having an online presence because you fear negative comments, I understand.

But if you are getting a lot of negative comments and are unable to offset these with a flood of positive feedback from your happy patients, then maybe independent private practice is not for you.

However, if you think that independent practice is for you and you would like to have a chat about joining my Consulting Class, click here for more details.

Hospitals can learn from Disney

I visited a friend of mine recently in a local private hospital close to where I work (I do not practice in this hospital).  She had just had an operation and I saw her on the morning after her surgery.

It was 10am and the nurse was with her and she had obviously been crying.  The nurse was explaining how busy they had been that morning as they were discharging a patient who lived a long way away.

It turns out that she had been pressing her call button since 7am because she was in pain and was uncomfortable in the bed, but no one had responded – FOR 3 HOURS!

It was a real eye-opener for me, to see the other side of the story.

As a Consultant, my contact with my patients while they are in hospital is usually through short visits to check that all is well.

The majority of a patient’s hospital stay is managed by the nursing staff and the other members of staff on the ward.

In my friend’s case, it was actually one of the catering staff who had been kind enough to take an interest in her, that had finally resulted in a nurse attending to her.

There was not any emergency problem or complication, she simply needed a sympathetic ear and some painkillers.

She wasn’t going to complain, so her Consultant would never get to hear about the event.

How often does this happen without us knowing?

Now that I have my own clinic, I work hard to put in to place systems and processes that ensure that every patient is treated like a VIP.

I am constantly looking for more ways that I can add to the experience that they receive when they come to see me because I want everyone to feel like they have had the best treatment possible.

Doctors will often baulk at the idea of systems and processes, because they say you need the ‘human touch’ and you don’t want it to feel like they are being treated by a machine.

But they have got it wrong.

It is essential to have robust systems and processes to ensure that you can consistently deliver an excellent service.

You cannot build any business on scale which relies on the whims of whether or not an individual chooses to go the extra mile or not.

I went to a meeting last year about how Disney manages to deliver a consistently magical experience for the millions of visitors despite having a huge workforce, which often consists of students and other temporary workers.

They have very clear and robust systems and processes that are drilled in to the workforce when they arrive and reinforced by daily meetings.

There is a hierarchy of priorities.

For instance, ‘show’ is one priority, which means it is important to put on a good show and always make sure that you are ‘in character’.

However, ‘safety’ is another priority and ‘safety’ is more important than ‘show’.

This means that if you are dressed as Buzz Lightyear and you see a trip hazard or you notice someone who might hurt themselves, you can go in to the Prehistoric section to help because although you will be breaching the ‘show’ priority, you will be fulfilling the ‘safety’ priority.

Remember ‘safety’ trumps ‘show’.

You would think that this wouldn’t be needed in a hospital because clinical need should always come over making sure someone is discharged on time, but in an environment where there may be a lot of agency and temporary staff – maybe they need to make this more explicit.

Maybe they need clear priorities which are drilled in to everyone when they start and at each daily meeting, so they all know where they stand.

‘Clinical need’ trumps ‘timely discharge’.

If there is a patient who is day 1 post op whose buzzer is going – then that needs to be attended to before the patient who lives far away is discharged.

I am glad that I only have 4 members of staff in my clinic because it is a lot easier to instil the values and ethos in to everyone.

I don’t envy the hospitals, but if Disney can do it, then so can they.

Systems and processes are essential and without them, we are at the mercy of individuals using their own discretion, which in a large institution can be dangerous.

Please let me know if you want to find out more about my Consulting Class where I work with a small number of Consultants to build and grow their private practice so that it is more efficient, delivers a better service and is worth something when you retire.

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