Unfortunately, during the height of the pandemic, many cybercriminals took advantage of the increased mobile device usage and remote employees. According to F5 Labs, phishing attempts rose an eye-opening 220%. Healthcare is not immune to this trend. In 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that 42 percent of healthcare breaches were email-based. Finding the best methods to protect your practice from phishing scams is essential.
What is phishing?
Phishing.org defines this cybercrime as “a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking, and credit card details, and passwords.” In other words, it’s nefarious individuals or groups pretending to be reputable in an attempt to steal your information. The best phishing scammers can make their attempts look very real. That’s why remaining vigilant is crucial.
Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
It seems when we discuss cybersecurity, MFA is always front and center. And for good reason. When you employ the use of MFA, you can stop most forms of attacks cold. Why? Because a password alone isn’t enough to penetrate your defenses. If you haven’t done so yet, decide to start using this robust security protocol at your practice as soon as possible.
Educate your employees
The best way to combat phishing attempts is to have a trained workforce. Consider hiring a consulting firm that can share its expertise with your employees. Devise a plan that makes it difficult for phishing scammers to get their hooks on your sensitive information. You want to prevent these attackers from gaining access because recovery from one of these attacks can be costly.
Utilize phishing filters
Stop phishing scammers right in their tracks with filters. Install phishing filters on email clients and browsers. These filters will catch most of the harmful information reaching your employees. However, they won’t catch everything. That’s why the first point is so essential. Your employees need proper training on how to differentiate legitimate correspondence versus harmful phishing attempts. When an attack does slip through a filter, your employees will be the last line of defense.
Combating issues like phishing scams can be time-consuming. That’s why delegating your billing and credentialing could be the best decision you made. Contact us today to discover how we can free up your time and optimize your revenue.
Online reputation. Although it’s a newer term, its impact is significant. However, as a physician, do you have to concern yourself with this area? How much influence does online reputation have on potential patients choosing your practice? Well, it’s substantial. According to a survey conducted by Software Advice, 71% of patients check online reviews as a first step in the doctor selection process.
Additionally, 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate doctors. So, it follows that keeping up with your online reviews and presence overall is a vital component to your success. But where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you manage your online reputation.
What you don’t know can still hurt you. It’s a common adage in medicine, and the same line of thinking works with online reputation. Type your name in a Google search and see for yourself what your patients, and others, think of your practice. You have to know your reputation before you can fix it.
Respond and learn from your reviews
Now that you have searched your name and read your reviews, it’s time to get to work. Read your reviews and note points that can help improve your practice. Understand, you can learn as much, if not more, from a negative evaluation than you can from a positive one. The next step, respond. Try to react to every review. Yes, even the ones that seem unnecessarily negative. Remember, new patients will be searching through reviews to decide if your practice is a good fit for them and their families.
Be proactive with an up-to-date site and social media presence
If you want a good rebuttal for reviews, be proactive. First, have a website. Complete with all the information a new patient, or current patient, needs. Ensure that your site is up-to-date because a website with old information is harmful to your online reputation. Next, consider having a social media presence. Patients can turn to a channel you control for answers to their questions: which is far easier to maintain than external reviews. On both mediums, consider posting your positive testimonials. Why waste a great opportunity to paint yourself in a positive light?
Focus on customer/patient service
As we previously noted, customer service is vital for any industry. A staff trained in proper customer service techniques is the best way to promote a positive online presence. The key is to solve problems before a patient even leaves your office. If they leave with a positive outcome, they will most likely give you positive feedback. At the minimum, they won’t give you a negative review.
Whether you discover your online presence is stellar or not, so much. You aren’t powerless when it comes to setting your practice’s online narrative. React and proact, and the rest will take care of itself.
Customer service has always been a crucial factor for success in all industries. But as society has evolved, especially in the realm of technology, customer service has become even more vital. Consumers who receive poor service can now turn to the internet to share their grievances immediately. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry does not escape this scenario unscathed. Your health center or practice can suffer irreparable damage if you aren’t proactive with your customer service efforts. So, how can you improve your healthcare-based customer service? Let’s start with customer experience.
We mentioned customer service now we’ve transitioned to customer experience, but aren’t they the same concept? Well, no. Customer service is a component of the customer experience. Customer experience encompasses all your interactions with your clients. While customer service includes the support interactions you perform to problem solve or troubleshoot their issues. For instance, implementing wearable technology to help monitor a patient would be an element of customer experience. Improving the overall experience before there is an issue can impact the view of your practice.
Finding the right hires
You don’t want uninterested or even combative individuals handling your patients’ appointments, follow-ups, and other tasks like billing. The best way to avoid this issue, hire the right people in the first place. Do your due diligence and make cultural a fit a priority. A potential employee who seems like they aren’t a fit probably isn’t. Trust your research and make a wise hiring decision.
Communication is a two-way street
Every single employee at your practice needs to keep this point in mind. Communication isn’t a one-way activity. It’s important to get your point across, but it’s even more vital to listen actively. After you hear out their concerns or queries, you need to respond accordingly. Offer fixes for issues and either provide or find answers to their questions. Something else to take note, not all communication is verbal. Your non-verbal cues are also essential. Smile and show that you are open and ready to help.
Respond to complaints and all reviews
Some patients are easier to please than others, but regardless, you have to treat them all with the same respect. When you receive a complaint, take it seriously. Your employees should put forth their best effort to resolve the issue. If there isn’t an ideal resolution, try to do the next best thing. However, in some cases, there isn’t a solution. Still, everyone should remain positive and upbeat. At the minimum, you want your patient to leave feeling you at least tried to fix the issue. Another aspect of problem-solving is responding to reviews. Whether positive or negative, try to formulate a well-thought-out reply that either thanks clients for a positive review or offer a fix for a negative one. The same concepts work in customer service and review response. Try to remain positive and be a problem solver.
Customer service is the new battleground for gaining business. If you, and your employees, put your best collective foot forward, it will make a big difference in your health center or practice. One great way to help with your new focus on customer service is to delegate other tasks. We offer help for health centers that includes revenue optimization. Find out more, and good luck making your customer service stellar.