One bad Yelp review has the power to dismantle an entire business, or even a doctor's practice, in this day in age. The reviews site allows patients to review their experience with doctors and specialists, and also gives said doctors the ability to clap back — hard.
The Washington Post reported on negative reviews addressing several practices throughout the country from upset patients and found doctors were blunt, and sometimes just downright shady, toward those who had anything bad to say about their practices. Those doctors often illegally went against HIPAA by acknowledging reviewers were their patients, and went on further to divulge confidential patient medical histories.
When Angela Grijalva wrote about her and her daughter's experience at Maximize Chiropractic in Sacramento, Calif., chiropractor Tim Nicholl fired back at her one-star review, while defying HIPAA laws in the process.
Grijalva recounted her daughter allegedly being told by Nicholl she could possibly have scoliosis, but wouldn't be able to find out until she took X-rays at her next appointment: a potential diagnosis which caused her grief in school, her mother told the Post.
"The next day you brought your daughter back in for a verbal review of the x-rays and I informed you that the x-rays had identified some issues, but the good news was that your daughter did not have scoliosis, great news!" the chiropractor replied. But Grijalva wasn't celebrating the response — she said it instead "violated my daughter and her privacy."
"I wouldn't want another parent, another child to go through what my daughter went through: the panic, the stress, the fear," she continued.
The fix? "If you can figure out a way to cultivate reviews from hundreds of patients rather than a few patients, the problem is solved," Jeffrey Segal told the Post. Instead of responding to each negative comment, Segal suggests doctors and their offices find a way to get patients writing about their positive experiences, too.
One review a day keeps the negativity away.