Medihair.com Review Guidelines
Effective date: January 1st, 2023
At Medihair, we have the mission that everyone receive the best possible medical care for their hair loss. Through our clinic search, informational content and comparison, we guide our more than 100,000 users per month to doctors and health care professionals who meet their needs. This is supported by a variety of information, such as general information about hair loss treatments and providers. At the heart of our platform, however, are the user reviews. The experiences shared by other patients are often of great importance for choosing the right doctor and thus for people’s health. We are therefore aware of our responsibility. These guidelines are the basis for fulfilling this responsibility. Reviews and cases on medihair must meet the following criteria:
Medihair offers an online platform that enables patients to publish their own experiences. We are actively committed to opposing libel, hate speech, agitation, defamation, discrimination, racism and disrespect of any kind. Our understanding of fairness also includes guaranteeing patients’ freedom of expression, if opinions are expressed in an appreciative and constructive manner. For us, this means that we naturally also allow criticism on our platform. Before users publish their reviews, they should make sure that they are rating the right company in the right location. We do not get involved in disagreements about what happened between a reviewer and the reviewed company. Medihair is a consumer review platform, not a regulatory body or a court. However, medihair also appreciates if users and clinics help us protect our platform by letting us know about problematic reviews (see section below on how to report a review).
Reviews are only helpful if users can trust that they come from actual patients of the doctor or clinic. Their content must therefore always be based on genuine experiences. Medihair is not a place for fake or influenced content. We regularly check the authenticity of reviews and, in case of doubt, only publish content whose authenticity we can be sure of. We take consistent action against manipulated reviews and those responsible for them, because they damage the trust in our platform and mislead patients. Falsified or influenced reviews for a doctor represent an unfair competitive advantage over other doctors. Any patient wishing to submit a review must therefore register with a valid email address.
Users should not make up experiences or give reviews for other people. Receiving a reward or other consideration for posting, modifying, or deleting a review is not permitted under any circumstances. Users should keep a proof of their experience with the company (e.g., a receipt, an order or purchase confirmation, a screenshot of your chat with online customer service) – we may ask the user to verify the experience.
Reviews are even more helpful to people looking for the right doctor if the content is meaningful and relevant. That is why we would like to see concrete descriptions of what patients experienced during their visit to the doctor, as well as appropriate ratings on our 1 – 10 scales. Not all reviews fully meet this requirement. We nevertheless allow them because even reports with little content can contain relevant information and there is no absolute standard for when reviews are useful and helpful for other patients. However, we aim to continuously increase the usefulness of reviews in dialog with physicians and patients.
Information for Doctors and Clinics
- Before publication, an algorithm automatically checks each new review to prevent insults and attempts of manipulation
An algorithm analyzes every new review. It checks, for example, the e-mail address and the IP address, as well as many other technical features. This means that attempts of manipulation (e.g. by agencies) and clear insults can be reliably detected. Since the algorithm is constantly learning, even reviews that have already been published can be subsequently checked and removed if necessary. Unobtrusive reviews are usually published within 5 days.
- If there are doubts about the authenticity of a review, it will be checked a second time
If there is uncertainty about whether reviews are authentic or whether individual patients have submitted multiple reviews on a physician profile, medihair quality management will initiate an additional authenticity check.
Furthermore, if there is any doubt as to whether or to what extent reviews are authentic, medihair’s quality management conducts internal quality checks in the form of surveys. The authors of the reviews are contacted and asked to answer specific questions. Based on the feedback, our staff decides whether the reviews will be (further) published or removed.
- If doctors and clinics do not agree with the content of a published review, you have the right to report the review for a check.
The legal classification of a review in the report process is always in the area of conflict between freedom of expression and the personal rights of physicians and clinics, which would be violated, for example, by insults or false statements of fact. Opinions are legally protected (§ 5 GG), even critical ones, as long as they do not violate (e.g., by insults) the personal rights (§1 and §2 GG) of the physician. Factual claims, on the other hand, must be substantiated in case of doubt. However, this does not mean that factual assertions are prohibited per se. In the event of a dispute, however, they can be challenged, unlike statements of opinion. In most cases, it is not possible for patients to provide sufficient evidence for factual claims, so we have to delete individual sentences describing a disputed fact or the entire review as a result of the report process. It is therefore advisable to clearly state one’s own subjective perception and opinion in reviews.
You can report the review by clicking on the flag next to the review. Please fill out the form, mention the specific review and state your arguments. If reviews are reported to us by the physicians concerned, the quality management staff first look at the report. If they are sufficiently substantiated, we initiate the review process. In the next step, we question the authors. Depending on what was specifically challenged by the physicians, the patients must present appropriate arguments or evidence. We then present the patients’ comments and the anonymized evidence to the physicians in anonymized form so that they can comment on them again. At the end, taking into account all the available information, experienced staff in quality management decide whether the reported reviews can be put back online or should be deleted. If the latter is the case, the evaluation remains permanently removed.
Legal grounds for patient reviews
The handling of reviews and the design of our platform is always based on the current legal situation. We are committed to ensuring legal certainty in dealing with reviews on the Internet. In individual cases, this also includes conducting legal disputes in order to ensure greater legal clarity through court rulings. The following points have already been decided by courts in Germany and the European Union several times:
- Doctors and clinics lists
In Germany and in the European Union, clinic and physician comparison portals fulfill the socially desirable function as neutral information intermediary (see also ruling by the Federal Court of Justice on 12.10.2021: Ref: VI ZR 489/19 and Ref: VI ZR 488/19). Also, EU law allows data processing of physicians, clinics and health care specialists on rating and comparison portals even without the consent of the persons or entity concerned. Therefore, in principle, a deletion of profiles is not possible. Patients in Germany and the European Union have the right to choose their own doctor (§ 76 SGB V). This means that they may choose their own doctor and are not referred to a specific doctor by a central office. In order to make full use of this right, patients are dependent on complete lists of doctors and comparison portals. For this reason, doctors are automatically listed on medihair. Doctors can therefore not be deregistered under German and EU law (cf. BGH ruling of 23.09.2014, 12.10.2021).
- Rate doctors and clinics
Reviews help patients find the right doctors and clinics. A wide range of reviews are available on Medihair, on the basis of which patients can decide which doctors and clinics are the best fit for them.
The public’s interest in information about medical services and the freedom of opinion and communication of patients and Medihair outweigh the interest of physicians in informational self-determination. Therefore, as the Federal Court of Justice ruled in its judgment of September 23, 2014 and confirmed again in its judgments of February 20, 2018 and October 12, 2021, physicians can be rated on the Internet.
- Report anonymously
Users also have the option to write a review anonymously.
- Review of published experiences
Courts have determined that online platforms must offer individuals and patients a way to have publicly express their experiences with the provider.
Doctor and Clinic FAQs
Can I have myself deleted from the medihair database?
In your capacity as a physician, doctor, therapist or clinic you were added to the medihair database. We only publish your business-related data, such as name, services, specialty and further relevant business information in the public domain. This personal data is freely available to the public from other directories, websites or via your practice homepage. Therefore, the business-like collection, storage, listing and use of publicly available, personal data is permissible according to § 29 para. 1 No. 1 and No. 2 BDSG. The general public has an interest in having fast and complete access to data on doctors, clinics, therapists and health care professionals. In this context, it is of great importance that the doctor database is as complete as possible. This fact was expressly confirmed by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court in March 2012 (ruling of March 8, 2012, Az. 16 U 125/11). Therefore, in principle, a deletion of profiles is not possible.
How can I change my address, title or specialty?
Every doctor or health professional can change his or her data on medihair independently and free of charge. This can be requested via e-mail (email@example.com).
With the activated access, you can change your data easily and conveniently. Please make sure that you comply with the further training regulations that apply to you.
Why are the ratings anonymous?
Since the reviews on medihair often contain information about illnesses, they are classified as extremely sensitive data by data protection. This results in high data protection requirements. It is critical to publish ratings together with the names of the users. The anonymous rating function on medihair therefore not only ensures an impeccable procedure under data protection law, but also enables users to write an honest and informative report on their treatment.
Why can I be rated on medihair.com?
Every month, several hundreds of thousands of patients search for exactly the right doctor for them on medihair platforms. The subjective recommendations of patients are an important decision-making aid for this large number of users when choosing a doctor or a clinic. Our service therefore makes recommendations, which were previously exchanged primarily among friends and acquaintances, accessible to a broader mass. As a physician, this transparency enables you to influence your online reputation, for example, by commenting on recommendations or by actively asking patients to recommend you on medihair. In addition, the patients’ ratings give you valuable tips on how to improve your practice processes. As a physician recommendation platform, medihair naturally balances the interests of users (especially the right to freedom of expression) with your interests as a physician (especially the protection of personal rights).
Can I find out the identity of a reviewer?
According to the German Telemedia Act (§ 14 Abs. 2 TMG), medihair may only provide information about users if this is ordered by competent authorities such as courts. Otherwise, medihair will be threatened with proceedings due to a breach of data protection regulations. Therefore, we cannot pass on user data without the consent of the user.
How can a medihair rating be deleted if it violates the usage guidelines or applicable law?
Physician ratings cannot simply be deleted. However, case law provides that physicians can have reviews that they consider problematic reviewed. This can be requested via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). In the problem report form, the concerns must be justified as precisely as possible and the form must then be submitted.
This initiates a review process in accordance with the currently valid jurisdiction, for the duration of which the rating is taken offline. As a result of the review, the review will either be republished or deleted if it contains factual assertions that cannot be proven or if it violates the medihair usage guidelines.