Reputation Precedes Professionals in the Healthcare Industry
Across all industries and organization types, reputation is having an ever increasing impact on their success. This is also true for health care and how physicians and clinics are perceived.
With plenty of resources at their disposal, patients do their analysis, research symptoms, medical conditions and hospitals. From branding to public relations, a doctor’s reputation is a critical aspect of their public perception.
Some physicians fail to understand that their reputation goes beyond their immediate circle of professional colleagues and existing patients. Increasingly, prospective patients and many other physicians will know you first by your online reputation.
The World Wide Web has many channels and reputation management requires commitment of time and effort. Professional advice can help you get this right, especially when starting out. Below are some of the important concepts for managing your online presence.
Two Sides of Physician Reputation
The reputation of a physician lives in two places, online and in-person. You have to manage both daily. Caring for an established professional reputation is of the highest priority. Doctors don’t need to be reminded of the in-person reputation, as such is the nature of the activity. The online presence however can often slip out of the attention horizon, but deserves equal concern.
The Internet is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth. Similarly, what appears online can both hurt you and can help you. Comments and reviews, good or bad, are viewed as a form of endorsement and social proof. Patient recommendations and testimonials will often influence the decision of other patients.
The online world never forgets. This side of the internet can become frustrating since all type of comments — even if these are inaccurate or outdated — will always remain in some form on the web. That is why doctors and physicians need to monitor what is happening in the online world.
Take a proactive stance on your online reputation. Work on your online presence at least once per week. It’s good practice to see yourself how others see you. Look at primary channels of communication and review platforms to get a clear picture.
Where and How to Manage Online Reputation
Search Engine Results — use a variety of keywords and search on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Examine closer results that are in some way connected to a community.
Local Directory Listings — regularly check sources that offer a service like “find a doctor” online, e.g. Yellow Pages, business listings, insurance-provider lists, Google Plus pages, or “city search” directories, and other medical related listings.
Social Media — social media plays a big role in reputation management and you should primarily focus on your own profiles on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube. Maintain your content and account up-to-date, and don’t overlook mentions that might appear in the social media such as discussion groups, conversations online or events.
Physician Review Sites — Compile a list of most relevant online listing and check these regularly. Make your presence felt here as well, by responding to reviews, questions or concerns. This way you show patients that you care about their well-being even when they might have left your office.