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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Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You?

Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patience is a virtue, but patients don’t always feel the need to practice it. And that makes sense; as more practices offer shorter wait times and more one-on-one time with the doctor, why would they want to put up with long patient wait times?

Attitudes towards patient wait times are changing

If you’ve worked in the healthcare field for quite a while, you’ve probably heard the term “healthcare consumerism.” While the term encompasses many different things, the big idea is that patients expect their healthcare experience to be more like a customer service experience.

 

This retail mindset means patients are no longer willing to put up with long wait times at the doctor’s office—just as they wouldn’t wait a half-hour in line at the store to buy an item.

Reasons for shifting patient attitudes

The truth is that patients have never enjoyed long wait times in the office. In many cases, they simply accepted it as the norm.

 

While some offices have always attempted to streamline processes, we all know that practices and hospitals have a reputation for scheduling appointments that rarely begin on time.

 

So what’s different now? Patients have become empowered to take control of the situation. They know that there are other options out there. And while they may not be able to turn back the clock and choose another office, they can prevent other people from making the same mistake.

Your reputation is on the line

Wouldn’t it be great if a doctor or hospital’s reputation was based solely on their professional merits? Of course, you strive to provide the best level of healthcare you can. But in this day and age, that’s not enough to earn a strong patient referral.

 

And patient referrals are not just limited to someone’s family and friends. A recent Vitals study showed that healthcare facilities with long wait times tend to receive much poorer reviews than those with shorter waits.

 

The highest reviewed practices had average wait times of 13 minutes, while those receiving low star ratings had wait times of 34 minutes.

Patient reviews have greater reach than ever before

90% of patients have researched a doctor or hospital before visiting. Chances are high that most of your patients have looked you up online. They may have been pleased with your reviews, or they may have decided you were worth a shot despite them—but after a visit, they could change their mind.

 

This fact is not just limited to primary care. Even patients who receive a referral from another doctor are likely to research that referral online. And if they don’t like what they see, they may seek out a second option.

Your competition is changing

Depending on your area of specialty, the competition surrounding your practice or hospital is likely a lot different than it was just 10 or 15 years ago.

 

Primary care doctors and some other specialties are competing with urgent care clinics, including those in retail locations like a CVS. Urgent care clinics now compete with telehealth apps on mobile devices.

 

If you want to keep patients in your practice or hospital, you have to create an experience of care that keeps them coming back and is competitive with these modern healthcare environments.

Losing a patient is expensive

According to Vitals, 30% of patients have simply left a doctor’s office because they were dissatisfied with the wait time.

 

In some cases, the cost of acquiring a new patient can be a couple hundred dollars—worth it when you consider the lifetime value of that patient, but not if you lose them!

 

And when one patient leaves, you miss out on the opportunity for several more patients. This includes their family and friends and, of course, several people reading your negative reviews.

What can you do to reduce the wait?

It may be time for an audit of your systems and processes. Think about what you could do to really streamline appointments and make sure everyone is in and out in as little time as possible. Could you…

  • Automate check-ins or keep these online?
  • Keep better estimates of the amount of time needed for certain times of appointments?
  • Text patients when you’re running behind and allow them the option to reschedule?

 

Best of all, listen to your patients and their needs. Even if you fall behind in scheduling, your patients will appreciate transparency and your willingness to fix the issues over time.

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

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

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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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How Does Your Medical Organization Handle Negative Feedback?

How Does Your Medical Organization Handle Negative Feedback? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Ping! An email comes in. You open it and your face drops. One of your patients just posted a negative review on your Facebook page. What do you do next?

Your instinct may be to ignore or delete the review, but I assure you this is not the answer. Trying to silence negative reviews misses a valuable opportunity for us to connect with patients. It sends the message that you are more interested in covering up negative feedback than addressing it and improving your practice.

Many of us in healthcare need to shift our perspective on public patient feedback. Social media marketing is about more than pushing out content. Social media platforms provide an opportunity for us to talk — and listen — to customers. So when we do get feedback, it means these platforms are working well. Negative feedback is not a threat to business or a personal attack; it is an opportunity to show your patients (and potential patients) not only that you listen, but that you are eager to improve their experience.

Below are five tips to effectively manage online reviews:

1. Be Prompt

When a negative review appears, respond in a timely fashion. Creating a policy for responding to online reviews now will help you be prepared to handle the majority of reviews. Pull together important phone numbers and email addresses, and even write sample responses to common questions or complaints.

2. Be Gracious

Resist the urge to get defensive. Instead, address the reviewer’s concerns with professionalism and kindness. Post a public response thanking them for taking the time to share their experience, and apologize that their experience did not meet your standard of care. Your public response shows other members of that online platform that you care about feedback and that you are responsive to concerns expressed by your patients or their family members. Ultimately, that helps to deepen people’s connections with your brand.

3. Move the Conversation Offline

Once you have demonstrated your dedication to making the situation right, it’s best to move the conversation offline as soon as possible. Encourage the patient to contact the office so you can hear more about their experience and learn from it.

4. Differentiating Between Trolls and Concerned Customers

Unfortunately, there are some people who are determined to shock and upset others. It can be difficult to discern between trolls and upset customers. Pay attention to their motivation and tone. If the person is using explicit or inflammatory language, there’s a good chance you are dealing with a troll. No response will satisfy them — instead, they will use a response as an invitation to keep posting.

Trolls want attention. No matter how difficult it might be, ignoring a troll could be your best tactic to get them to leave you alone. If someone uses profanity or harasses other users, consider deleting their comment(s) and blocking the account.

5. Ask For Reviews

The best way to prepare for a negative review is to actively encourage patients who have had positive experiences to post on various social media platforms and review sites. You might even print out instructions explaining how to do so. That way, any negative comments, though valuable, will seem inconsequential compared to the dozens of positive reviews.

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

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

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Online reviews and HIPAA: What you need to know about responding to patient reviews

Online reviews and HIPAA: What you need to know about responding to patient reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

HIPAA adds extra complications for healthcare providers facing negative online reviews. The common wisdom for most businesses is to respond to all negative feedback publicly. However, HIPAA levies large fines and penalties against providers who reveal personal health information without patient consent.

 

It’s no wonder then that most healthcare providers are gun-shy when it comes to responding to online reviews. Fewer than one in five have a process for dealing with bad reviews, even though more than 80% of providers are concerned about the damage reviews can cause.

 

That said, there are HIPAA-compliant ways of dealing with patient reviews, and you should definitely incorporate review responding into your practice routine.

Why responding to online reviews is so important

Especially given that healthcare can be a life-and-death matter, prospective patients pay a lot of attention to a provider’s online reviews. In fact, 94% of people use online reviews to evaluate physicians, and 75% say that review sites have influenced their choice of provider. As such, negative reviews on sites like Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com, RateMDs.com, Google, and Yelp can be especially damaging—destroying your online reputation and turning away prospective patients.

 

The good news is that most patients tend to write positive reviews. But when negative reviews do pop up, you can often turn them into good reviews by responding promptly in a caring, professional, and HIPAA-compliant manner.

 

These online interactions show potential customers how much you care about your patients’ satisfaction, which can significantly boost your online reputation. Moreover, responding thoughtfully to a negative review can cause a two-fifths of viewers to overlook it.

 

But you shouldn’t just respond to bad reviews; you should also respond to good reviews. In fact, 70% of people believe it’s important for healthcare providers to respond to all reviews online. Doing so not only demonstrates that you listen to your patients, but it also shows that you truly value them and are grateful for their feedback.

 

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

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

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A Doctor's Reputation Means Everything: How to Protect Yours

A Doctor's Reputation Means Everything: How to Protect Yours | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

What do your patients say about you? For a medical practice, a healthy reputation means growth potential and successful physician marketing, but there is more to it than just fighting off the critics. Doctors need to look for ways to cultivate their online reputations.

Online reputation management is a growing industry, but it is not necessary to hire a firm unless you need to repair significant damage. Consider some simple ways to protect and enhance the online reputation of the practice.

Be Aware

Ongoing monitoring of social media and review sites is a part of responsible reputation management. A negative review immediately creates an impact, so the sooner someone is aware of the problem, the better. Monitor sites like Vitals, Healthgrades, RateMDs, UCompareHealthcare and even Yelp for both positive and negative reviews. When a patient has a positive experience with your practice, ask them to share their experience with the community by posting a review. 

Respond to the Critics

Practices should respond to negative reviews in a positive, not defensive, way. When posting a response, make sure to avoid any HIPAA violation regarding patient privacy. Software Advice points out that no matter what the reviewer says, you cannot publicly acknowledge them as a patient. Avoid specific references to a treatment plan or diagnosis, as well.

You can contact the patient via phone and try to resolve the issue if you know who it is, but do not send them an email using the address listed in the review. If you are able to fix the problem, ask the patient to delete the negative review or post another that is positive to counteract it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Legal Action

If the negative comments are libelous or defaming, do whatever is necessary to remove them even if it means legal action. TraverseLegal explains that defamation against medical practices is rampant on the Internet. One well placed comment can negate thousands of dollars spent of physician marketing, too.

Practices should have a plan in place should a libelous review arise that includes hiring a lawyer that specializes in Internet defamation cases.

Cultivate a Positive Internet Presence

Leveraging social media is one way a practice can build a positive Internet presence. Create pages on all the mainstream social networking sites and post to them often. Provide engaging content about trending healthcare topics like managing chronic disease, or showcase the state of the art technology your practice utilizes. Become the local authority within your community for your specialty.

A physician’s reputation is sometimes all they have, especially when just starting out. One mishandled issue, whether true or not, can takes years to repair. Staying proactive about reputation management is just smart business.

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

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

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6 Ways to Collect Genuine Reviews from Your Customers

6 Ways to Collect Genuine Reviews from Your Customers | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Customer feedback is one of the most important ways to learn how to grow your market. Listening to the people you are trying to serve is the clear path toward financial rewards. Here are six ways to get the most authentic feedback from your customers.

1. Suggestion Boxes

Similar to brainstorming, suggestion boxes open up feedback channels with the most fresh ideas to explore, coming from a variety of sources. New ideas can spark exciting campaigns that take the market by surprise, which is what venture capitalists look for. For businesses aiming to disrupt the market, a wealth of innovative ideas can be gathered from placing suggestion boxes in various locations.

2. Reviews and Testimonials

Asking your buyers to provide quotes for your website can steadily build a mountain of positive content. The information can be used as research to understand why people are willing to spend money on your product or service. Video reviews add a powerful effect, since it brings the experience into the present. One way to get the attention of search engines is to get reviews listed in Yelp and other local directories.

3. Collect Customer Feedback

Before compiling and analyzing customer feedback it helps to focus on how the data will improve your business. The key is to focus on user experience, goals of how data will be used and various appropriate marketing channels. When soliciting feedback, it’s best to have a highly organized customer feedback system in place, so that information can be collected and accessed seamlessly.

4. Customer Surveys

  • behavioral insight surveys
  • telephone surveys
  • mobile surveys
  • feedback forms
  • focus groups
  • usability testing

The internet is the perfect place for collecting a wide array of information on large groups of people. It cuts costs and converts answers about your audience into quantified, useful data. These surveys help you decide if you need to keep moving in a consistent direction, refine the product or move in a new direction.

Online forms often come from templates that work for all industries, especially for simple quick surveys that ask for basic contact information and 3-5 questions.

5. Email

Despite the popularity of social media, email is still a heavily used form of electronic communication and is effective for marketing. There’s plenty to learn from reading customer email. Sending personalized emails helps build relationships with customers.

6. Social Media Monitoring

Social media cannot be ignored due to its popularity and easy access to customers. It can be integrated with apps to collect feedback. Similar to social networks are community groups, discussion boards, customer feedback portals and live chat.

Conclusion

An efficient way to collect customer information is through forms on your website. Make it easy for people to take time out of their busy lives to participate. The internet provides many low cost opportunities to collect information through email, social media and more.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:

Contact Details :
inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com/tdr

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