Social Media Gives Patients a Voice in Health Care

Wed, Mar 4, 2021

In the News, Social Media

No Gravatar

Here’s the background, an AP story I read in the Chicago Tribune: “Doctor [sic] try legal restraints on patients to prevent online criticism.” (Hat tip, @ColonelTribune on Twitter)

For a fee, a company called Medical Justice will provide doctors with a standardized waiver form. Patients who sign the form agree not to post any online comments about the doctor or their treatment. In other words, doctors want a gag order to prevent patients from publishing any criticism. Looks like they finally understand that, as consumers of health care, patients have a voice now-and they’re not afraid to use it.

I put the following poll out on Twitter and Facebook, asking if people would sign such a waiver. The poll is admittedly unscientific, and somewhat predictable given the people likely to answer it. Still, it’s notable that not one person said they would sign the waiver. The one category I think may be underrepresented is “I just scan medical forms so probably wouldn’t notice it.” How closely do you read the numerous forms medical offices routinely ask you to sign?

My sister, who works with doctors as executive director of a medical specialty society, said, “The silly thing is, you couldn’t share something GOOD about a doctor if you signed such a document. How very short-sighted.”

Below the poll results is a screenshot of the responses I received on Twitter. What are your thoughts? Would you sign such a waiver? What are the implications for our health care system?

Twitter Replies: Twtpoll doctor waiver

This post was written by:

Connie Reece - who has written 152 posts on Every Dot Connects.

Contact the author

2 Comments For This Post

  1. MLDina Says:

    That’s really interesting- what exactly would be the incentive to sign it for the patient? I would be far more likely to blog about an experience, good or bad, after being offered the option to sign away my right to do so. I think that just brings more negative attention to the issue. Maybe the doctors should focus more on their medical and customer service abilities, so all the online feedback is great.

  2. Robert Devero Says:

    That is absolutely ridiculous!!! I would never sign that. I would probably see another doctor, if you are asking me.