Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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Physician Online Reputation Management

Physician Online Reputation Management | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Two years ago, when we first wrote a blog about online physician reputation management there were...

  • Fewer people writing and using reviews, 
  • Only a few review sites where people posted, and
  • There were no tools like you can find today to monitor everything about you.

Oh how times have changed.

But the main point of our blog is still solid. Online physician reviews can, and do, have a major impact on someone's purchasing decision. And even though a medical service isn't a traditional purchase, it's still a choice for most patients. Even for services they really need, they can choose from a few doctors. How will they do that? Recommendations is still most common. Those can be personal or online.

HOW DO WE USE ONLINE PHYSICIAN REVIEWS?

We often use them without even realizing it. When I searched my general practitioner in Google the physician website was fourth in search results, plus there's a huge box at the right on the desktop to feature him in Google. Many won't even get to his website to see what they have to say before exposure to many different reviews, as you see here.

We also naturally tend to gravitate towards sites we know and already trust like Health Grades or Yelp. Both of those beat the practice's own site for this doctor. 

 

According to BrightLocal, a study published in December 2016 shows 84 percent of customers trust online reviews as a personal recommendation.

Of these people, 74% said a positive review makes them trust a business more. Thankfully fewer people (60%) said that a negative review makes them question the quality of a business. But that's still a lot of your potential customers who might think twice before booking an appointment after reading a bad review. 

HOW MUCH DO ONLINE PHYSICIAN REVIEWS AFFECT A PATIENT’S DECISION?

92% of consumers now read online reviews versus 88% in 2014. Consumers are buying everything from lightbulbs to cars to surgeries and everywhere in between.  With the addition of mobile friendly sites as standard practice it makes sense that even more people are doing these searches. Simply because it's easier than ever before with a small computer in their hands at all times.

In 2016, the National Research Corporation reported that 47% of consumers indicated that a doctor’s online reputation matters. This percentage is tied with the restaurant industry for #1 among all local business types.

This means that some people don't regard the content of the reviews as highly as others. But if almost half of your potential patients think that reviews are important, then we need to help you find a way to be sure you've got the right tools in place. 

Take control of what is found online about you and your practice. It's one of those things that really can't be done in any effective manner manually anymore. A service that is pulling data about each doctor and/or facility is what we've found to be the best starting point. But then what?

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR REVIEWS AREN'T ALL FIVE-STARS?

If every doctor in the practice has a 4 or 5 star rating on all of the various review sites being monitored by your service provider – then rock on! You don't really need to do much other than just keep on doing what you do. 

The sad reality is that no matter how good our intentions we sometimes don't see eye to eye and that can cause a negative review to get published. Pause before replying, if you can reply. It's a very personal feeling when you see someone comment about you and your life's work. But remember, your response can actually make things worse if it's not carefully crafted and all facts taken into consideration.

Whenever possible I recommend the practice call that patient right away and have the discussion offline. That way when you respond online (if you can) you'll be able to state that you saw this and addressed with Mr. X privately because he is very important to you.

If PHI has been disclosed we especially don't recommend commenting. That's acknowledgement of the PHI by the healthcare provider and is best removed or at least left alone

Your review service can often help with removal of a review, especially if PHI is at hand. Ask them what they can do before you sign up for a service. Ask us if you're not sure what kind of review services are out there and what you get with each.

Whether you do it yourself or you engage a reputation management service, negative reviews should not be ignored. If you’re starting to see a few comments that aren’t as positive as you’d like, it could be a flag that someone at your practice is not interacting well with patients. Or perhaps there’s a problem with your operational flow that has caused some discontent. These are things that can easily be addressed, improving your patient experience and reducing further harm to your personal reputation! 

THE BEST WAY TO MANAGE ONLINE PHYSICIAN REVIEWS

Use a Service for Online Reputation Monitoring and Reporting

So that you or your staff aren't blind-sided by a negative review we recommend that you use a service that monitors everything and gives you a regular report on your status at each site, but will also inform you when a new review is posted out there in the web world. 

Use Staff or a Service to Make Listing Updates and Address Reviews

It's not enough to know what's out there, you'll also need hands to help correct things and address items as they come up in reviews. Most of the online review collection service do not review and update the data. They only aggregate it for you. You will want a service like what we offer at 30 Degrees North as part of an SEO program – since reputation and review sites play a role in your search results.

If you can't use a service be sure to pay particular attention to these five physician review websites:

  • Healthgrades.com
  • Yelp.com
  • Vitals.com
  • WebMD.com
  • RateMDs.com

Facebook could also play a role if you have reviews enabled on your business' page. You can turn them off on your own Facebook page if you'd like, however.

DO REFERRING PHYSICIANS USE ONLINE REVIEWS?

While your best referral sources typically know you personally, there can also be those doctors who have heard of you and your capabilities but want to do their research before sending patients your way. What if they find poor reviews that you haven’t addressed? Or what if they see a few listings online but none of them have been personalized to “fill in the blanks” of the profiles set up by the review sites? Try to complete as much of these as you can (or have your service work on it for you) so that you have a fully developed presence online.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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A Guide to a Healthy Online Reputation for Physicians

A Guide to a Healthy Online Reputation for Physicians | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Besides medical education credentials, specialty experience, and a pleasant bedside manner, the next most important thing a doctor can have is a good — or preferably great — reputation. It can be a deciding factor between a new patient choosing your practice instead of another. And today, having a healthy online reputation as a physician and medical practice is more important than ever.

Just take a look at these convincing statistics:

  • According to a recent report published on the Journal of Medical Internet Research, not only did 88 percent of adults in the United States search the internet for health-related information, but 47 percent of adults Americans looked up information about their providers online, 37 percent reviewed physician-rating sites, and seven percent who consulted online information about their provided posted a review online themselves. Thirty percent compared physician’s online before making their choice as well.
  • A further study reported as part of the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed that 43 percent of people with a chronic disease looked online for information about doctors.
  • A survey by Software Advice of 4,515 patients in the United States indicated that patients used online review sites as a tool to research doctors. As a first step to find a new physician, the majority (62 percent) of uses online reviews as their initial go-to method.
  • In 2011, 28 percent said they searched online for information about the quality of care provided by a primary care physician or medical specialist as compared to 24 percent in 2010, according to the 2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers in the United States published by Deloitte.

Statistics aside, it just makes pure common sense in today’s digital age for physicians to manage their online reputation. Negative comments, whether its a misleading mainstream media article or defamatory online review from a disgruntled patient, can paint a physician and his practice in an unflattering, and possibly incorrect light, causing the medical practice doorbell to ring less often.

Online reviews can have a major influence on the success of a medical practice, but that shouldn’t frighten medical practitioner owners. While a negative online review can drive patients away, good online reviews can serve as a powerful physician marketing tool.

With that in mind, physicians should have a keen awareness of the areas for which they and their practice are being evaluated by patients.

What’s Being Rated and Reviewed?

While there are many areas of physician qualities, care, and services that are being discussed, reviewed, and rated by patients online, the majority fall into these categories:

  • Communication skills - This includes an explanation of medical conditions and treatments, listening skills, attentiveness to patient, follow-up, and bedside manner. How rushed the physician seemed is a frequently-cited comment that physicians should pay particular attention to.
  • Availability - Includes ease of scheduling, appointment availability, and wait time for scheduled appointments.
  • Facilities - Waiting room comfortability and amenities, cleanliness, on-premises services (like lab services).
  • Staff - How professional, helpful, and courtesy is the staff?

With the increased transparency in the healthcare system overall, it is essential for physician practices to pay attention — and close attention — to these patient rating categories.

Tips for a Healthy Online Reputation

On the web, information, whether good or bad, can spread like a wildfire. Follow these general tips to make sure your practice’s online reputation works for you, rather than against you.

  • Update directory listings. Create, optimize, and manage listings on HealthGrades, Yelp, Google+, ZocDoc, RateMD.com, and Vitals, in addition to Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Respond to comments, especially negative comments. For instance, patient comments such as “The doctor seemed rushed during my time with him” can be softened by responding “We take great pride in helping as many patients as possible since we are one of the few practices offering this specialty in the local area.”
  • Improve your bedside manner. Patients refer to a physician’s bedside manner in online discussions more frequently than most other factor, says KevinMD.com, so doctors can do a lot to improve their online reputation simply by making patients feel that they are truly concerned about their wellbeing. To this end, physicians should work on presenting a less “rushed” appointment, and even work on lengthening patient appointment times if possible. Building trust by continually following up with patients also helps.
  • Engage an online reputation management service. There’s no doubt about it; online reputation management (ORM) is a time consuming process. Employing a professional ORM service saves you time and money — and more importantly helps to keep your online reputation healthy.
  • Create a large body of positive and patient-valued content. Providing relevant content in the form of blog postings and articles not only provides an additional source of information for patients and engage patients, but it can make detrimental articles in newspapers become deeply buried into the back pages of search engines. In other words, creating a large body of positive content can outweigh negative material. Post engaging content and industry relevant content at least weekly on your website’s blog and Facebook pages.

Physcian Marketing Online Reputation Management Takeaway

Patients are increasing becoming healthcare consumers, and the impact of patients reviews and rankings on physician practices can no longer be overlooked or ignored. It is imperative that physicians become proactive in managing their online reputation through physician marketing in order to attract and retain patients and increase their bottom line financial metrics.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

No comment yet.