A message from our Practice Manager about feedback and online reviews

14 Dec 2020 4:47 PMTandem Health
A message from our Practice Manager about feedback and online reviews

Quality improvement is a key aspect of our Practice and it is something that we take seriously. We welcome constructive feedback as a way to improve our service to you.

One way to provide feedback is via our regular formal feedback survey exercise conducted throughout each re-accreditation cycle. The questions asked during the survey are wide ranging and your responses provide a good overview of the things we do well and the areas which require improvement. Put simply, how our patients view our Practice and the services we provide matters. Therefore, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or improve the care you receive.

All feedback, complaints and concerns are given due regard and if you feel that your concerns have not been addressed then it is important that you talk to your Doctor or myself (Practice Manager) about any problems or suggestions.

There are a number of ways feedback about the Practice can be communicated. We prefer to receive feedback in person either by telephone, email or letter. This allows us to address the complaint with you immediately and provide feedback regarding outcomes.

However, we appreciate that sometimes both positive and negative feedback is shared in the public domain - Google reviews, online forums, social media for example. We understand this is now the ‘way things are done’ and we continue to monitor and respond to feedback received via these channels in the limited capacity privacy regulations allow.

However, I respectfully ask you to consider the following before posting a review to the public domain:

  • Is your feedback something that would be better discussed or raised directly? Generally, the answer is yes, as we can resolve issues or provide explanation promptly. Please talk to us.
  • Are you writing your review about the correct Practice? Often people attribute reviews to the wrong business. These can be extremely damaging and difficult to remove. Please ensure you have the correct name, address and contact details before adding a Google review to a business profile.
  • Please take a moment to determine if your review is truly about the service you received, or perhaps it is because you did not receive exactly what you asked for during your consultation. Negative reviews often relate to restricted pain medication not being prescribed by Doctors. It’s important to be aware that Doctors are governed by strict regulations and timeframes as to when certain medications can be prescribed. If your Doctor was unable to give your pain medication before it was due, this is not bad service. Your Doctor is following best practice by looking after your health and following the regulatory guidelines to which they are bound. Your Doctor is your health advocate – open communication is the key to understanding and it is important that you seek clarification if you believe that your concerns have not been adequately addressed.
  • Is your review targeted towards Doctors or staff? If so, please speak with us directly as positing this sort of information to a public domain could be interpreted as bullying or defamation and could warrant legal action.
  • We recognise the right to share a negative review but targeting people publicly who have no mechanism of reply or defence is not tolerated. The Practice’s zero tolerance stance towards threatening behaviour within the Surgery does extend to the online world i.e. we also have a zero tolerance policy towards humiliation, intimidation, verbal abuse, slander and bullying online.
  • Please remember, when you write a review, once it is in the public domain it cannot be rectified and we may seek further action.
  • Fake reviews from fake patients are not fair to any business. Receiving a review from a patient who has never attended our Practice is always disappointing. The name of our Practice is similar to another nearby, therefore please make sure you are reviewing the correct Practice.
  • Some reviews relate to waiting time. We understand this frustration, because we know time is a precious commodity. Time management is always our priority. We are constantly reviewing our approach and ways to minimise waiting times. Waiting times are a problem in any Practice due to the nature of General Practice. Emergencies walk through the door every day. Please rest assured, if you or your loved one were that person in need of urgent assistance, you too would be seen first. These daily emergencies are planned for, however unexpected or additional emergency walk in patients can complicate any well-run appointment schedule. Telephone consultations also offer a great alternative to waiting in the Practice. However, face to face consultations are generally considered optimal care.
  • Consider the outcome are you attempting to achieve via your review. A reply from us, a negative rating against the Practice, a complaint, a resolution, an explanation, reassurance, assistance, general feedback. There may be many reasons, most of which we can help you to resolve immediately via phone or in person.
  • Most reviews will generally result in a phone call as we are restrained by privacy and advertising regulations relating to what we are permitted to reply, discuss, disclose and post online. By posting a detailed review, you are also sharing personal details with the public about your healthcare. We cannot respond in detail as this would be a privacy beach. We have no option other than to discuss away from the public space. Therefore, please expect contact from us if you need to leave an online review, as our aim is to offer resolution where possible and we cannot do this online.
  • I would urge you to use our in-house complaints process as a first step. You have a right to review and we welcome online reviews and comment as long as the review is accurate, honest and isn’t targeted or unjustified.

If you have an issue with our Practice, please talk to me in person as your feedback is welcome and I am sure any issue you have can be resolved.

Our purpose is to serve our patients in the best and safest way possible. Our team strives to achieve optimum health outcomes for our patients – we can only do this if we work as a team and your feedback assists in this process.

Please direct feedback to myself, Marilyn Elliot, Practice Manager at 07 5552 1888 or via our email: lmcadmin@tandemhealth.com.au

Alternatively, if you have a serious issue or complaint that you believe should be referred to the Office of the Health Ombudsman, please refer to the details below.

Office of the Health Ombudsman
PO Box 13281
George Street
QLD 4003
Phone: 133 646
Fax: (07) 3319 6350
Web: www.oho.qld.gov.au
Email: info@oho.qld.gov.au