When choosing a doctor, the opinion of others who have been through a similar medical journey is possibly the most valuable advice one can get. Feedback system on Practo borrows from this fact and attempts to collect the most helpful and reliable feedback from patients.
Every noble cause has a flipside
Just like any other noble movement in the world, our quest for high quality feedback also faces a few challenges. Ones that affect both, medical practitioners and patients. As a healthcare platform, it’s our duty to share the why and how of our efforts in making healthcare easier for everyone.
3 biggest challenges that plague feedback today are:
- Disparaging comments
Healthcare is a sensitive area and the emotions attached with it? Even more so. Often, patients with negative outcome of the consultation get emotional and unconsciously leave comments that border on abusive and defamatory. This may sound fairly acceptable for commercial businesses like hotels or restaurants but healthcare is different. People forget that their feedback directly affects an individual and not an establishment.
- Glorified and exaggerated praises
Feedback, by nature, is supposed to help readers get an idea of the product or service in question. Strangely enough, while personal comments simply vent someone’s anger, the exact opposites are also of little help. Why? Because people with great experiences, often go overboard and compare doctors to the “almighty”/”God”. This takes away the focus from utility of a feedback, which is to highlight appointment experience, efficacy of the treatment and its outcome.
- False feedback
The intent of simplifying feedback also bares the platform to users with vested interests such as intentional malign or manipulated praises. We have had hundreds of cases where a majority of feedback on profiles came from the staff of its establishment.
So what has Practo done to check this?
We work round-the-clock to devise effective countermeasures for challenges like the ones above. Here’s how we are doing it:
- Verification and spam removal
As a healthcare platform, it’s our inherent duty to ensure that only the most genuine feedback reaches our users. In theory, it’s just stopping the questionable feedback. However, the practical application involves a series of interesting measures, which help us in filtering spam from genuine feedback. Some of them are:
Each feedback that goes public is verified before publishing on Practo. Our team ensures that the feedback is published by the patient only and not by someone impersonating his/her identity.
We also collect basic credentials from every patient so that we can verify whether they visited the doctor, if need be.
- Strict and efficient moderation system
To keep only constructive feedback on the platform, every review — negative or positive — is seen by a set of eyes. These moderators work hard to ensure that abusive words, indecent language or personal attacks are not published. Having said that, our moderation policy also accommodates a reviewer’s state of mind, and gives him/her the freedom to revise the review and re-submit in accordance with the guidelines of our policy, which is structured to keep feedback simple, reliable and helpful.
- Advanced tools to detect suspicious feedback
Where human observation misses, Practo engages state-of-the-art tools to catch unscrupulous activity. Natural language processing tools identify patterns in feedback that sound similar or arrive in bulk. Device recognition blocks feedback that is posted repeatedly from the same device (be it through multiple SIM cards or fake user profiles).
Each of these checks are run 24×7 on all the Practo profiles, so that all the feedback can be verified.
- One feedback per patient per doctor
Each patient can submit only one feedback for a particular doctor. This can be edited overtime to make it more exhaustive or reflect a change of opinion.
- Blurring unnecessary information
To avoid misleading other patients with glorifying statements or unnecessary comments, our system also blurs certain parts of the feedback, keeping the useful and necessary information intact. Read more about this.
How you can contribute successfully
If you had shared a feedback on Practo that wasn’t published, then here’s a simple way to revise it.
On Practo, every opinion counts. We urge all patients to share their experiences — good or bad, with medical practitioners or establishments. The one and only criterion is to bear in mind that the intent of the feedback must always be to help those in need make a well-informed decision.
Some statistics around the feedback on Practo