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Are Gag Orders on Patient Reviews Medical Justice?

August 5th, 2010
3 Comments


Just found an article on Angieslist about an outfit called Medical Justice that helped a doctor contractually obligate patients from talking about them online with a gag order. It certainly sucks to have someone talk smack about your business online, but suing a patient seems like an absolutely boneheaded way to deal with it.

Hey doc, here are some alternative ideas:

The Online Reputation Management Guide (OutSpoken Media)

Managing and Improving Your Business’ Reputation Online (GetListed.org)

8 Simple Reputation Management Emergency Measures (Tad Chef)

How To Use The Web To Build a Powerful Reputation in Any Industry (doshdosh)

Why Reputation Management Matters for Small Businesses (Matt McGee)

50+ Sites To Help Bury Negative Posts About Your Company! (Jeff Quipp)

Free Online Reputation Management Beginners Guide (Marketing Pilgrim)

And if you are a patient of the above doctor and want to see how to far you can push that gag order down his throat check out this post by Ann Smarty on how to spread a negative reputation online.


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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Craig Mullins

    Wow…

    That’s crazy.

  • 2 Jeffrey Magner

    The rubber is hitting the road with this topic – Andrew, another fantastic and timely post! Thank you.

    Mental Health Professionals are bound by HIPPA to not solicit reviews from their patients & clients. Of course, right? This makes sense. It’s a very tricky situation online when anyone can review any business and where quantity of reviews affect rankings for businesses.

    Since January there has been a steady rise in competition in the rankings for Psychologists/Psychotherapists/Counselors of all types in the Bay Area. Just do a search for “psychotherapist san francisco” – they’ve ALL got reviews – they have to if they want to rank the the 7-pack on Google.

    Play by the rules – Sorry.
    Cheat a little – Congratulations! You’re business is booming!

    What are the Therapists/Doctors supposed to do?

    Should Google & Yelp and the others do the right thing and alter the ranking algorithm for such professionals? Or disallow reviews altogether for some categories?

    There seems to be some steps the industry can take before we’re faced with boneheaded options like this. Is anyone on this? Oh it looks like you are.

  • 3 Chris

    I’m an SEO consultant for dentists and run into this all the time. I tell my doctors about their online reputation and how to manage it.

    Usually they have the deer in the headlights look. But some of them get it. Just a few months ago, one of my clients had some nasty reviews about them on insiderpages.com.

    According to my doc, he said an ex patient came in demanding pain killers for a sore tooth. The doc wanted to get him in the chair and take a look. The “patient” kept making excuses about not having the time or $$$. The doc said he’d call the pharmacy for 5 light painkillers. The “patient” wanted about 20 Percosets. When the doc refused, the “patient” threatened to complain online about him.

    So I contacted insiderpages and explained the situation. Didn;t hear back. Then sent another email a few weeks later… never heard back. Then I sent another email explaining that my client is hiring a lawyer.

    Negative review gone.

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