Talk about the wrong kind of dental marketing!
Imagine coming into your dental practice one morning to discover that a Hepititius warning about your office had been distributed to your dental patients by your local health services office?
This is exactly what happened to dentist Derek Nordstrom of Edmonton Canada, who knew nothing of the Hepititius complaint.
Apparently, a recorded voice message from Alberta Health Services was calling Dr. Norstrom’s patients to advise them that one of his staff members had hepatitis C, and recommended the patients be tested.
Upon being notified by one of his patients, Dr. Nordstrom cancelled all of his dental appointments and spent the day making phone calls to the Alberta Dental Association and various other health agencies in an attempt to get to the bottom of the complaint.
The only problem was that none of Dr. Norstrom’s staff were sick.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t the only problem…
As if the health complaint wasn’t enough, Nordstrom’s receptionist then discovered websites attacking the dentist and his brother Patrick — also a dentist. According to The Edmonton Journal, one site — nordstromdentist.com — included photos of Dr. Nordstrom alongside anonymous claims of negligent procedures, false billing and even dead ants on his dental chair. The site also included a comment about an Alberta Health Services call about hepatitis C at Nordstrom’s clinic.
Talk about a dental marketing nightmare!
Nordstrom’s lawyer sent notice to the domain registry of the websites attacking the doctor and the sites were immediately suspended.
The bigger question looms as to how someone hacked the 4,000 active patient phone records of Dr. Nordstrom to relay the Hepatitis warning and who is out to get this doctor … and why.
An investigation into the phone messages and malicious websites is moving forward.
Nordstrom told the Edinton Journal that he isn’t sure who’s behind the calls, but finds it troubling someone would raise the question of serious illness to try to discredit him.
“It’s just a sick joke,” Nordstrom said of the hoax. “They’re just trying to hurt me.”
So far Dr. Nordstrom seems to be handling the situation well. I would strongly recommend a very aggressive PR campaign rebutting each accusation separately. While over the years I’ve seen everything from ex-spouse’s fire booming offices to disgruntled employee’s falsely reporting sexual harassment, this particular attack has all the earmarks of an inside job with the help of a professional and enraged computer hacker.