Doctor Reviews and Yelp

Would you select your Lasik doctor on the advice of a stranger? Technology has allowed Internet business review listings like Yelp and Google Review to become more prevalent, but should patients be using the same tools to select a surgeon as they use to select a restaurant? This may not be the most appropriate referral source.
If you look at the Yelp for Stahl Eye Center in New York, two patients speak in glowing terms about their Lasik, but one complains that the wait was too long and wanted more information about each of the tests that were performed to evaluate him for Lasik. Was the third patient impatient? Is this someone who is easily dissatisfied, or was this a legitimate breakdown of the doctor/patient relationship. And are any of the reviews real?
A concern with unmanaged reviews is the ability to “game the system” by having friends and family create bogus positive reviews…and competitors to create bogus negative reviews. Perhaps misdirection about a restaurant is not such a big deal, but misdirection about a doctor can be a serious problem.
While Internet review services may be ideal for some services and products, a more comprehensive approach is needed for physicians. Patient satisfaction for doctors at the Stahl Eye Center has certified by the nonprofit Would a delayed appointment make a difference in that certification? Should you care?

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