Yelp!

I have written previously about some “aha moments” that I have had as a clinician, when something that I knew was coming seemed to arrive with a thud in my own practice. I had another one of those moments a couple of weeks ago.

I was finishing up with a new patient, and had explained to him and his wife my assessment and recommendations, and had answered a bunch of questions they had.  I was frankly feeling pretty good about how the encounter had gone and as he was walking out of the exam room he said (more or less): “thanks doc; I’m glad I came to see you, and I am going to give you a really nice review on Yelp.” He was not kidding.

I didn’t know quite what to say immediately, but I ended up thanking him (somewhat awkwardly, I suspect) and then recovered enough to tell him that while I would – of course – appreciate a nice review on Yelp, I wanted him to know that he might be getting a patient satisfaction survey in the mail, and I would really appreciate it if he filled it out and sent it back in. Encounter over. New world order in place.

As someone who has written a lot about measuring the patient experience it came as no surprise that there were plenty of opportunities out there for patients to rate my performance. Indeed, the presence of all of these “rating sites” is one of the reasons why I support the public reporting of validated survey data from real patients. It is a way for us to displace “bad” data (like a review that could have been entered by someone who didn’t even see me – gee, thanks Mom!) with “good” data, and by so doing, reinforce the trust our patients place in us.

Look, I don’t love the idea that every  patient encounter can lead to an internet review, but that is the world in which we live, and I think it is way better to embrace it than pretend it will go away.

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Yelp!

  1. I don’t care for online reviews. They ask if I waited a long time, was I advised of any delays, did the doctor explain things where I could understand, etc. They don’t have any questions like “Does he accept your opinion?” “Is he a bully?” “Does he politely dismiss your question by changing the subject?” “Does the doctor have common sense?” Examples are that my thyroid supplement was too high, and the lab kept pointing this out on the TSH results. That caused high blood pressure and several doctors wanted to prescribe BP meds. That’s not even logical. Then I say, “No” to NSAIDS-I try to point out that people in their 70s are at great risk of having stomach bleeding-and PCPs were aware of that in the 1960s and earlier, and that I am diagnosed with IBS, which puts me at greater risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. I had nerve blocks for RSD and was told to avoid aspirin, NSAIDS, at all costs. I don’t bother to get that far with most doctors, because if they can’t understand old age and IBS-why should I expect them to understand RSD and stellate ganglions.

    I have a much better doctor now. She listened and referred me to physical therapy after I refused pain killers for a muscle injury-especially NSAIDs. She understands that part of thyroid treatment is holding my hand. She was having follow ups-not scared to order more tests.-Then at the last follow up, she said, “Your TSH has been in range on the last 2 tests. You say that you feel good, your BP is in range, so do you think that we’ll stop the follow ups, and you can come in for problems?” I said a delighted, “YES” Common sense, and she can read a lab.

  2. Pingback: Yelp | rbV3.com

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