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 التداول في سوق الاسمه good medical practice. 

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

It was very much based around a legal standpoint talking about how you can use استراتيجية المنخفضة الخيارات الثنائية عالية 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 click here less likely to be attacked by the national newspapers, but much إيزي فوركس 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 tell the world about their experience as they walk out of the clinic. تجارة الذهب شراء شرائح 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 areШіЩ€Щ‚-Ш§Щ„Ш°Щ‡ШЁ-Ш§Щ„ШіШ№Щ€ШЇЩЉ-ШґШ±Ш§ШЎ unhappy with us and the way that we have treated them.

If this happens, 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 برنامج الاسهم الكويت 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, get link 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 encouraging patients at every stage to leave a review.

If you are a good doctor trying to ما هو الفوركس build relationships and give good service to patients, you are likely to be able to الخيار الثنائي عصام MT4 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 خيارات الشركات الثنائية في أستراليا 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 السوق الماليه اليوم 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 سوق المال السعودية تداول 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.

Worried about bad reviews?


I have spent some time recently looking at the online presence of BAAPS and BAPRAS members (Plastic Surgery Associations in the UK).

I have looked at members websites and done google searches of them.

The results are quite varied.

Not every consultant had a website and fewer still had other information available about them such as Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or LinkedIn profiles.

There were very few who had any significant online reviews from third party sites such as Google+, RealSelf, Doctoralia or I Want Great Care.

This may be because you don’t have the time or inclination to set up an account or it may be because you are worried about putting yourself out there because of the potential for bad reviews from unhappy patients.

I think we are all slightly paranoid about getting bad reviews (I know I am) but I do not think that the way to combat this is to avoid having an online profile in the hope that no one will able to post anything negative about us.

If someone is upset enough with us, they will find somewhere online to voice their opinion.

In fact, they are much more likely to post something if they are unhappy with us than they are if they are happy with the service we have provided.

You have probably experienced this yourself.

Have you ever been motivated to write a review or a comment about a product or service that you have used?

If so, I suspect it is the poor service or defective product that you were more motivated to write about than the great hotel stay or reliable hoover that you bought.

You do not have to look to far to find situations where a surgeon has got a disgruntled patient who has taken to the internet to vent their anger and this is the first thing that comes up in a Google search of their name.

Whether you like it or not, our patients will ‘Google’ us when they come to see us.

You have to be realistic – everybody will ‘Google’ it when they want to know more about something.

And everybody loves reading reviews from other consumers.

We do not trust adverts or corporate websites.

But we do trust our fellow consumers.

Just look at TripAdvisor, Amazon, Argos, B&Q, Joules (I could go on) to see how important consumer reviews are.

Trust me – it is not easy to get reviews (this is the topic for another discussion).

But it is not that hard, especially if you actually put some effort in to it and try to solicit reviews from your happy patients (which I hope that you have many of).

I think that it is essential that you have a healthy online presence.

This means that you need a website as an absolute basic minimum, but you should also consider a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  You should also consider Google+ and Instagram.

You need to start building up an online profile that you can control.

You need to engage with patients and cultivate a ‘tribe’.

Do not think that by having this access, it will make you vulnerable to negative comments.

You are vulnerable already!

If you can start to build up a following and start asking for reviews – then if (perish the thought), you do get a negative review, it will be seen in the context of other positive reviews.

Some people like to see an occasional negative review, especially if you are able to respond to it and show that you care, because it lends credibility to all of your other positive reviews.

If you have places that people are able to leave reviews about you (Google+, Facebook, RealSelf), then you are much more likely to be able to pick up on the review early so that you can react and minimise the damage as early as possible.

If you do not have an online presence, then the review could be written anywhere on the internet and it may be some time before you even realise it is there, which could be very damaging.

We are all worried about bad reviews, but you are not going to stop them by putting your head in the sand.

I hope that the majority of your patients will be happy with what you have done for them and the unhappy patients will be few and far between.

However, as I have said, the unhappy patients are likely to post a disproportionate amount of negativity about you and so you need to have cultivated the positive reviews in advance.

Once you have developed a ‘tribe’ and identified those patients who are very happy with you and are happy to tell the word (the mavens), then you can actually use them to help with the damage limitation if you do get a negative post.

I believe that you should respond to any negative posts with an explanation and apology if appropriate, but even better than that would be for one of your happy patients to respond and put in a good word for you.

Remember that the world is watching these conversations, so you need to be aware of how things appear to the observer.