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Doctors trying to prevent their patients’ giving feedback – why?

April 17, 2011

When I launched iWantGreatCare a few doctors paid a lot of money to a famous London law-firm to write me a threatening letter, demanding their patients were not allowed to use our open, transparent website to provide feedback on the care provided.
What a waste of their time and money. Reviews of doctors and hospitals is now not just accepted, but is Government policy!
And of course huge numbers of doctors now not only accept reviews and feedback on their care, but have seen the benefits to themselves and their patients that adopting a modern, open approach can bring – and are actively encourage their patients to share their thoughts with others.

In the US things got a little more wacky (as things are wont to do there). A group of doctors set up something called “Medical Justice” (sic) and told patients they could only have care if they signed a contract agreeing to never review their doctor. Sort of like a restaurant not letting you in unless you first sign a contract promising never to talk about or write a review of the food served.

This provoked a team of academic lawyers to produce a brilliant website, Doctored Reviews, pointing out to doctors quite how ridiculous this is, and reminding patients that any doctor who won’t treat you unless you sign such a gagging clause is in breach of the AMA’s own code of medical ethics.

I recommend Doctored Reviews for all those (doctors, patients and policy-makers) who want a clear argument, and links to the overwhelming evidence, as to why great doctors want every patient they see to write an online review of their experience.

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