The importance of online reputation management for physicians and healthcare practices
Just like restaurants, hotels, schools, or any other organization that provides a service to the general public, healthcare providers are becoming increasingly affected by their online reputation.
What Is Physician Online Reputation Management
The best way to understand physician online reputation management is to consider what happens when you want to find a restaurant. Imagine you want to have dinner this evening and are unsure of what restaurants are on offer. While you can ask friends and family for their recommendations, what if you're in a new town that you're not familiar with? In order to make sure you make the best possible choice you're probably going to turn to the internet.
One of the best things about the internet is that there are plenty of impartial sites that allow the general public to leave ratings and write reviews. In the same way that you would like an unbiased set of opinions from the general public when it's time to choose your restaurant, why would this be any different when you want to choose a service for your health and wellbeing.
Why Is Medical Online Reputation Management So Important?
If you're having any doubts about the importance of medical online reputation management then you don't have to look any further than the numbers.
• Almost two-thirds of adults are of the opinion that the online reviews and ratings that a provider has will affect their decision on whether to use them or not.
• Over a third of adults will not even go and visit a doctor if they encounter negative reviews on the internet.
• A third of patients have said that good reviews will have an influence on their decision.
The survey results are a clear indication that online reputations matter.
Ways That Doctor Online Reputation Management Can Enhance Your Profile
If you're not fully content with your current ratings and reviews, or you feel you need more of them, then here are some doctor online reputation management strategies that you can consider the following:
• Make a review of all the sites that people go to for advice or to assess the reputations of doctors. Read through any reviews and comments to get a general idea of what people are saying about you.
• Create accounts for all these sites and begin to reply to any feedback that has been left. That way, if there are any negative comments, you at least get to have 'your say' and any readers can hear your side of the argument.
• If the internet and reputation management is not something you want to invest your time in, then consider using a third party service provider to take care of it for you. While it costs you money, you can get a professional who has experience in these matters. This will free up more of your time to focus your efforts on being a doctor.
What Does The Future Hold For Healthcare Online Reputation Management?
Make no mistake, healthcare online reputation management is not something that can be overlooked by any doctor, physician, or healthcare provider. Currently, a third of patients have said that positive reviews will influence their decision. This number is only likely to continue increasing in the future as more and more individuals rely on internet sites to provide honest information that doesn't receive a bias that most marketing channels have.
Getting unbiased information to the general public can only be a good thing. With so many different sites like HealthGrades, RateMD's, YP, Yelp, and of course Google, it helps to have all the ratings and reviews consolidated in one place. That way, reviewing and managing your online reputation becomes so much easier and more efficient. And, if you don't have the time or resources to keep on top of things yourself, then it's definitely advisable to hire a third party service provider to take care of it yourself. Your online reputation is fast becoming just as popular as your offline reputation in your local community.