Why don't dentists respond to reviews?
I am sure that many of you have looked up reviews for a dentist or doctor at some point and have found that somewhere in the mass of glowing and amazing reviews that everyone seems to have (not fishy at all, right?), there will be some bitter comment......with no reply from the practice owner.
Or maybe you have read a news article that is looking into a dental or medical practice for some reason, and that doctor refuses to answer questions.
But.....why do they not reply? It makes us dentists look pretty bad!
It simply comes down to patient privacy regulations.
In BC we have the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), which protects patients from having their personal information made public. As dentists, we are legally required to ensure that any patient data we obtain is kept private---even if they are complaining about us on the internet.
Restaurants and other types of commercial entities have the opportunity to respond to reviews because they do not have these legal privacy expectations. This allows readers to see that the business owners care about their customers and to hear the other side of the story. Health professionals, on the other hand, do lose the opportunity to turn a negative in to a positive.
So if you ever see a negative review on Google or Yelp that is not responded to, or read an article where a dentist "refused to comment", understand that we simply cannot. Reporters KNOW this, but it is obviously less intriguing to the reader if they say, "due to PIPA regulations the dentist was unable to comment on this specific case".
"Fake news! Fake news!" LOL.
Thanks for reading!