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Why You Must Consider Online Reputation Management if you're a Physician or Healthcare Provider
In recent years we've seen some major breakthroughs in healthcare. Technology continues to evolve and so do patients' expectations.
The importance of medical online reputation management
You're probably asking yourself, why does medical online reputation management require your urgent attention? Shouldn't the entire focus be on the care of the patient? First, consider the way in which the internet has revolutionized the way people make choices in life.
Whether it's purchasing the latest consumer goods to selecting where to eat. No longer do you have to take risks. If you're travelling to a new city and want to go to a restaurant, you have the likes of Trip Advisor to give you an unbiased view. A view which you can trust because it comes from other visitors of the restaurant. Now, if you're unwilling to go for dinner without conducting this type of research, then why would you be willing to place your trust in the hands of a doctor when it comes to something as important as your health? It just wouldn't make sense!
How will healthcare online reputation management change in the future?
Before we look to the future, let's identify the current attitude in regards to healthcare online reputation management. Take a look at the following survey results:
• 59% of American adults have confirmed that online ratings were a factor of consideration when choosing a healthcare provider.
• A third of these patients have gone on to say that when making their choice, the existence of positive reviews was a factor of consideration.
• 37% of American adults say they will avoid a healthcare practitioner due to negative review.
As more individuals find themselves emerged using tools such as online reviews to make decisions, this figure is only going to increase. Credibility is now something that can be measured and as more members of the public rate and review online, the more accuracy a provider's credibility and reputation will have.
Physician online reputation management – a quick guide to improving
For patients to trust a new doctor, they will need to consider the physicians online reputation management. Gone are the days of trusting a single family doctor for life. So, what steps can a physician take to maximize the potential to improve their online credibility:
• Update your profiles on social media and listing sites. Ensure people know who you are, your background, specialties and opinions. This will allow them to make the right choice of whether to visit you or not. If an individual doesn't agree with the way you do things then you're less likely to have disagreements that penalize you in reviews. Sites to consider include: Healthgrades, Google, RateMD's, Yelp and YP.
• Keep a track of your ratings and what people are saying about you. While it's wrong to obsess over this, it's worth taking a little bit of time each week to reply to people's comments. Firstly, it shows you care, secondly it allows you to clear up and have your say if there are any negative comments and thirdly, other readers will be impressed with your expertise and willingness to take the time and engage.
• Be honest. Keeping your ethics at the core will ensure you win the trust of patients in the long run.
• Assume that every patient you see will leave an online review somewhere. This means your focus is going to be where it should be – on the patient. If you wish to maximize your transparency then publish public reviews on your website. Your own web content is open to bias, so any third party scores, ratings and public forum will boost your reliability.
By making an effort to have an online presence, both healthcare providers and physicians give the general public an opportunity to engage with them online before visiting. This allows a baseline trust to be established and will lead to a better overall relationship in the long-run.
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