Nobody likes Vitals. Sometimes I suspect even employees at Vitals dislike Vitals. But lately, physicians and practices dislike it even more than normal.
See, several years ago Vitals allowed physicians and practice managers to claim their profile and access a backend to manage the information displayed and the get a birdseye view of the patient reviews. They even allowed you to suppress 2 reviews; a nod to the fact that some reviews were erroneous, or were from ex employees or competitors. That changed a year or so ago when Vitals quietly removed the ability to login to manage information or add pictures on physician accounts. However, the Vitals team seemed to be pretty active in responding to inquiries or ‘report abuse’ cases, until they were acquired by Internet Brands, the company that owns WebMD.
Vitals “Report Abuse” Function No Longer Works
The ‘report abuse’ link on patient reviews seemingly stopped working shortly after the August 2018 acquisition of Vitals by WebMD/Internet Brands. Now, when the link is clicked on a review it produces an error message displayed in red at the top of the page; blink, and you’ll miss it, it disappears quickly.
Needless to say, this is a huge issue. There are physicians who are suffering due to erroneous or defamatory, baseless reviews; even more interesting, there are patients who may have left a negative review in a moment of passion who want to remove it, only to find that they can’t.
We have been testing this since mid 2018, on multiple browsers and devices. We have not seen it work once during testing.
If You Can’t Report Abusive Patient Reviews on Vitals, How Do You Contact Them With Feedback?
Well, they don’t make it easy. Like all the physician review sites, there’s no contact phone number or email address. There is, however, a page named “Data Feedback” in the footer of the Vitals website. That takes you to a form where you can submit concerns regarding patient reviews, data update issues, address a missing profile or even report spam.
This is where the plot thickens.
When you fill out the form to completion and check off the box that indicated you’re ‘not a robot’, the Submit button stays grayed out and un-clickable. Several physicians and office managers have contacted us after they thought they submitted information that they needed changed on their Vitals profile, only to find out that that submission never even went through. Below is a screenshot of the submission form with all pertinent data blocked out, showing that even after everything is filled out the Submit button doesn’t become active.
Our working theory as to why this is happening is just due to general chaos after the company was purchased by WebMD/Internet Brands.
What Steps Can You Take to Update Your Profile on Vitals? Are You Stuck With Abusive Reviews Now?
We’re not sure what’s going to happen with Vitals, and we’re monitoring the site regularly. We receive so many calls on a daily basis regarding Vitals that we’ve even set up a separate line to handle them (options #3 when you call our main line).
We’ve potentially found a workaround. When you call the Vitals Solutions line, they tell you that all issues regarding patient reviews or updating your physician profile should be directed to [email protected] We have done this on multiple occasions and have only gotten responses a few times- it seems very hit-or-miss.
Help! I’m a Patient That Left a Review on Vitals and I Need to Remove It Because My Physician Is Threatening to Sue
We get inquiries regarding this at least once a week. Anyone who leaves a review should know that if Vitals is subpoenaed they will provide what information they have about the reviewer. Also, if you are leaving a review that is libelous, you can be held legally accountable. Think before you post, and sleep on it!
If you’ve already left a post out there that you want to remove, you’re stuck following the same procedure we outlined above. You will need to contact Vitals support and hope that someone responds to you; and let that be a lesson in why you need to pause before leaving damaging reviews that you may regret later.
Help! I’m a Physician and I Need to Get Rid of Negative Reviews on my Vitals Profile
You’re in the right place. If you become a reputation restoration client of ours, we’ll fight to remove any baseless reviews. We take these on on a case-by-case basis, and will gladly examine your case with you. We charge a retainer fee to fight these negative reviews. You also have the option of simply attempting to offset the negative reviews by signing up for our reputation management program– this provides a solid framework to conduct a patient satisfaction survey post visit, and those happy patients are then directed to Vitals (or other important review sites) to leave a positive review. It’s an incredibly helpful program, and one we recommend to most of our clients. Contact us today to get started!