Online reviews seem to be many people’s go-to tool these days when it comes to picking anything new—restaurants, dentists, plastic surgeons, you name it—yet as any business owner can tell you, sites like Yelp, which do nothing to verify the validity of reviewers’ comments, can sometimes lead people astray. When it comes to choosing where you’ll have your next meal out, this may not be very important; but when it comes to choosing someone who may perform a serious medical procedure on you, you may want to have a somewhat more reliable source of information. Because of this, I was excited to read last week that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) had just decided to join forces with RealPatientRatings, a patient experience service and consumer website, to help ASPS Member Surgeons like myself get more authentic, credible patient feedback.
RealPatientRatings works by administering an anonymous (and voluntary!) survey to patients following their visit to a plastic surgery office. The system protects both doctors and patients: only patients who have actually had a consultation or undergone a procedure can go on the site and write about their experience with the plastic surgeon, which means no bogus, unfounded reviews; and surgeons cannot censor comments or choose which patients they want surveyed, which means the reviews represent the true opinions of a wide range of patient feedback.
ASPS’s partnership with RealPatientRatings is still brand new, so we’ve yet to decide here at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center whether we’ll take advantage of the service or not—it’s not clear yet if it’s really as good as it sounds. But it’s certainly an intriguing option!