Reputation Management: Psych Screening Cosmetic Patients

Updated: Feb 7

Case study: Revision Rhinoplasty with Mental Health Issues.

YESpbm was approached recently by a renowned cosmetic surgeon facing, what he thought, was a unique problem.

The surgeon completed a revision rhinoplasty for a patient three or four years ago. Initially, the patient was pleased with the outcome and posted videos on YouTube saying so.

Some two or three years following, the patient approached our surgeon with numerous issues and complaints claiming he had "ruined her life".

Amongst other things, she requested a full refund.

By all accounts, her nose appeared fine and there were no clinical reasons for a refund of any kind. Sadly for all, it was later discovered that the patient may be suffering from various mental health issues and that her financial situation in life had worsened.

Unfortunately, YESpbm discovered that her issues have now manifested themselves in a campaign of extremely negative, online publicity, having a negative impact on the morale of clinical staff, not to mention the surgeons’ own peace of mind and business income.

The staff has to date received over 300 emails, and numerous blog posts and YouTube videos have been posted, describing in-depth how (she feels) the surgeon has ruined her life. Again, by all accounts, there is nothing wrong with the job our surgeon performed and he’s held in the highest regard by colleagues and the vast majority of patients.

The case highlights a growing trend, especially relating to cosmetic surgery.

As many forms of cosmetic surgery become more affordable to a wider market, so does the wider variety of patients now offer new challenges.

A patient may seem fine but can be seeking a change to their appearance in order to fix underlying mental or emotional issues. Once the euphoria of transformation wears off following surgery, and they return to “normal” lives these issues can resurface.

It may be that shaving a few millimeters off their nose hasn’t transformed their lives as they would hope. In extreme cases, this can now come back to haunt the clinic.

In these instances, a refund request, or even payout, could see the clinic “dodge a bullet”.

Harvard University recently conducted a study in conjunction with Google to discover that one bad online reputation will cost an average business up to 30 customers. YESpbm has expanded the study within our own market to find this number increases greatly when related to the financial or medical industries. In some cases, anecdotally, the number can as much as double.

Few people would want to go to a dentist that has reviews saying “hurt like hell and cost a fortune”, with 2.8 stars on Google. Certainly not when there are dozens of other dentists on the same page looking for business.

In talks with several medical professionals over a number of months, it’s been suggested that employing an in-house psychologist, or some form of mental health screening as part of the patient acquisition process would be beneficial in helping to avoid these types of fallout.

For now, be vigilant and remember, it’s often better to turn a little of the "wrong" business away. Patients/customers can now do much greater harm to the value of a surgeon's reputation online, than the value of their single transaction.

With the average income per patient in a private cosmetic clinic running to the thousands, and each negative review potentially costing 30 to 60 new patients, the financial implications of this new trend can’t be ignored.

We'd love your general feedback or comments as to if, or how you’ve dealt with similar situations.

We’re all in this together, and perhaps the more the business impact of these clinical decisions is understood, the better for the industry as a whole.

If you or your clinic is facing a similar situation at the moment, you need to schedule a time with us now on CALENDLY HERE for a free confidential chat.

We'll share insights into online reputational issues facing your industry, along with how we can mitigate the financial and reputational loss. As the internet is immediate, "viral" and capable of considerable damage, we've become experts at forming immediate and proactive strategies.

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