The Customer is Not Always Right

The Customer is Not Always Right

The Customer is Not Always Right

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A common perceived philosophy in business is that the customer is always right. After all, the goal is to retain customers and make them happy. Unfortunately, this is not always the most appropriate thing to do, especially when it comes to healthcare. You may or may not have realized that healthcare has become a commodity and can even now be purchased in retail facilities right along with your shampoo, dog food, and bubblegum. Because of this, there is more and more competition for your business. In addition, numerous physician and practice rating sites have erupted online in attempt to help the consumer choose the best provider for their care. The intention behind this is good, however the reality is not so clear.

Remember, you are not shopping for a gizmo on Amazon. You are shopping for healthcare and ultimately the person who will be responsible for taking care of you. You may or may not have medical experience and likely will not have the same level of expertise as the specialist you are seeing. Because of this, you may not always agree with the treatment plan proposed. This is not to say that every treatment plan proposed by every single position is always appropriate, but many times a physician’s treatment plan does contradict what a patient wants to have done. For example, MRI imaging of the lumbar spine is not always necessary to help treat people who have low back pain. Furthermore, pain medications may not be the best choice, despite you feeling otherwise.

Unfortunately, any confrontation with the physician may lead to unintended consequences. Since there are numerous rating sites available, and these rating sites are open to the public, any dissatisfied customer can post a bad rating of the physician simply because they did not get what they want, even though it was not medically indicated or appropriate. Furthermore, some of these rating sites evaluate the physician on things that are out of his/her control. Things like office décor, waiting time, and front desk staff are obviously important to your overall experience but do not reflect the quality of care delivered to you by the physician. Many physicians are feeling pressure because of this, and sometimes give in to patient desires despite it not being medically necessary to do so. Some physicians are even unwilling to perform procedures or surgery on high risk cases due to fears of negative outcomes, which may jeopardize their ratings.

I am not saying every physician is perfect, because they are not. There are obviously some which are better than others. I recommend that when reviewing a physician’s rating on-line you look at the whole picture and keep things in perspective. Remember, people with bad experiences are much more likely to write a review than those who had a good one. Look at all of the ratings and comments so you get a better idea of the situation. Was 1 rating out of 20 bad? If so, that is likely secondary to a dissatisfied customer. On the other hand, if 19 out of 20 ratings or comments are bad, then you should probably move on.

It comes down to using your best judgement, but making sure that your judgement is not skewed by inaccurate information.

 

 

Citations

  • Samora JB, Lifchez SD, Blazar PE, American Society for Surgery of the Hand Ethics and Professionalism Committee.. Physician-Rating Web Sites: Ethical Implications. J Hand Surg Am. 2016 Jan;41(1):104-10.e1. PubMed PMID: 26304734

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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