Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why don't patients provide doctors with feedback ?

Many patients have many complaints about their doctors ( for example, about long waiting times or poor communication skills) - but they usually complain behind the doctors' back to other patients. This is not very helpful.

Why don't patients provide feedback directly to doctors, to help them to improve ? Are they scared that the doctor will take this amiss ? This is possible in the case of some doctors, but most good doctors are mature enough to realise that every complaint is a gift - provided it is presented tactfully ! To make your criticism more useful, please also include practical suggestions as to what the doctor can do to fix the problem. Remember that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem ! Not only your doctor appreciate this - so will his other patients.

Also , remember that not all feedback has to be negative. Compliments are also welcome - and appreciating what your doctor does helps him to do a better
job . Doctors are also human - and respond positively to praise ! When did you last thank your doctor ?

1 comment:

  1. There can be multiple reasons for not providing negative feedback to doctors. In most cases, it is because you are not sure how the feedback will be taken. There can be many other reasons too:
    1. Technical Issues: as a layman one doesnt have the expertise to debate with a qualified doctor. It simply doesnt work, as the doctor is the "expert". A few medical terms later, the patient will throw in the towel.
    2. Choice: you have the choice of getting a second opinion/ going to another doctor. Most people exercise this choice.
    3. Timing: you may be more "educated" post the treatment. Your perception (good or bad) may be formed in hindsight. Typically you will not call up the doctor for just talking about this. You may mention it in your next visit if you remember.

    Similar reasons apply for compliments too. There is fortunately a simple solution to the above problem, and something thats being actively used also... doctor/hospital recommendation websites.

    We have seen a lot of praise for good doctors at our recommendation website. We have also seen a lot of very negative recommendations and complaints as well.

    The website solves the multiple problems at one go:
    - you can always priase a doctor later at this site.
    - you can remain anonymous, while the website can still enable a 2 way communication channel between the doctor and the patient.

    There are other advantages too... with the growing numbers of postive recommendations, the good doctors are most likely to get sorted out and be more visible than others on the website. This can only auger well for healthcare in general.

    Disclaimer: This comment is submitted by an employee of the above mentioned website (


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