Why Physicians Should Care About their Online Reputation
Physicians & Surgeons Need Reviews To Protect Their Reputation
As a physician your online reputation is part of your overall digital footprint or your ‘digital presence’. There are aspects of your digital footprint you can control like your social media post, your website and listings on medical directory websites. There are also aspects of your digital footprint that are harder to control. If you are a physician who is new to social media, this article will be able to give you an insight on why you should care about your online reputation and how it impacts your digital footprint and patient count.
A physician’s reputation online can get better because of great reviews from patients and colleagues but it can also be destroyed by one nasty review in just seconds. Aside from having to monitor reviews, physicians and other professionals, for that matter, also have to deal with misinformation regarding their practice or themselves. While many physicians don’t pay attention to reviews or blogs about them or their practices, ignoring the power of social media won’t make bad reviews go away. In fact, it can drastically affect your practice patient count and by extension, your annual revenue.
An increasing number of people now research physicians online and most of these potential patients rely on reviews to know more about a particular healthcare provider and whether that provider is right for them or not. Most patients also find healthcare providers through reviews. A search on Google will yield numerous reviews for keywords like OB-GYN Dallas, neurosurgeon New York, dentist in Denver, and the like.
Even when patients get referrals they do research before making an appointment.
When searching for obstetricians or surgeons, for example, a patient can also go to doctor review sites the likes of Healthgrades, ZocDoc, and Wellness.com instead of doing a Google search. They do this to learn more about the qualifications or expertise of certain types of physicians and also spend time looking for reviews by former patients. Knowing the experiences of patients in certain clinics or with certain doctors give potential patients information that will help them decide which clinic or doctor to go to.
Millennials and their Reliance on Search Engines
Studies show that millenials search for healthcare providers online before actually seeing a doctor. Sometimes, they even search about their symptoms. The latter often irritates many physicians but keep in mind that for the younger generation this is the most natural thing to do. Millenials are hard-wired to research online.
Because healthcare systems around the world are not perfect, most patients want to learn more about potential healthcare providers before visiting a hospital or clinic and by extension, before spending any money out of pocket.
It’s not just millenials who do this though. Most of us search for more information about the services we need and the products we want to buy. Doing this helps us make a decision on whether we should go for it or not. This is the reason why most of us read online reviews about physicians, clinics, and hospitals. Online reviews influence people that’s why it is imperative for physicians to take care of their online reputation.
Should employed physicians take care of their online reputation as well?
The answer is a resounding yes. The institution you work for gains or loses patients because of the collective reputations of its doctors and medical staff. It is also important to note that you might decide to open your own practice in a few years’ time and ignoring your online reputation now won’t do you any good as an employed physician or as someone who will have his or her own practice in the future.
Understanding Online Reputation
Only two groups are concerned about a physician’s reputation. Group 1 is composed of colleagues while Group 2 is composed of current and prospective patients. Group 1 basically wants to associate with the best of the best among their peers while Group 2 wants to be treated by the best doctors.
A doctor’s reputation used to only revolve around outcomes, publishing books, teaching, collaboration, word of mouth, speaking engagements, community involvement, and other activities. Today, a physician’s reputation still relies on these things but one has to add online reviews into the mix.
Reputations are basically built the same way in this day and age but because of the sheer velocity of information transmission, reputations can now be built real fast and can be destroyed in seconds too.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Managing your online reputation gives you the chance to have a say on what patients say about you or at the very least have outlandish comments taken down. Apart from being available when someone is trolling you, you will also be able to respond to all reviews about you including those who gave you 5-star ratings. Doing this will make you look better online because it is indicative of you wanting to build good relationships with your patients. Your responses can even sway prospective patients to choose you over your competitors.
Once you are actively taking care of your online presence by claiming all your business profiles or professional profiles, you can finally take a closer look at what your patients say about you. It is possible that you’d see legitimate complaints online but don’t get upset because you can use this information to fix certain problems. Reading all complaints can give you an idea what your clinic is doing wrong specifically things that you probably won’t hear about offline. One example is hearing about your receptionist and how he or she was rude to one of your patients.
Being on top of your reviews also paves the way for you to say, “thank you” to those who leave gleaming comments. You can also make sure that all your profiles online have the correct information.
Start Monitoring Your Online Reputation Today
We are sure you’d like to know what is being said about you online and you’d like to respond to everyone who left a negative review and thank everyone who took the time to leave a positive review. Review Fire can help you be part of the conversation. Contact us today.