Let’s consider today’s average consumer: when shopping for something they would like, let’s say for instance a television, they first conduct a bit of research. This involves checking prices online, reading product reviews, and watching YouTube videos about the TV they’re considering buying.
If that same consumer is in the market for something a little more important, like a new physician, you can be sure they’re going to conduct the same amount of, if not more, research. That’s why maintaining a good presence on review sites and social media pages is essential to running a successful practice. It’s not difficult to stay on top of reviews and profiles but more a matter of keeping up-to-date information posted.
This is especially important for websites that specialize in physician and hospital reviews.
Examples of these sites are:
On these websites, you will have to provide current information since many potential patients may be totally unfamiliar with your practice. This means you risk seriously misrepresenting your practice if you don’t always have accurate information posted.
Your basic information like your name, photo (if allowed), and education is the first thing patients will see. When choosing a photo, make sure it’s professional and of good quality.
You need to also give specifics about your practice, since this is what most patients will care the most about when choosing a physician.
Information you will be asked for includes
- Whether or not you’re accepting new patients
- Field of expertise
- Care philosophy
- Affiliated hospitals
- Accepted insurance carriers and plans
That last one is especially important, since the health insurance landscape can be tricky for many patients – you want to help any way you can in giving them their options.
Getting patients into your office is only half the battle when it comes to maintaining an online reputation, it’s what happens after that can really harm a practice.
That’s because social media has given everyone a voice, and unfortunately that voice is sometimes not very happy.
Social media outlets where physician reviews can be seen include
If you encounter nasty or unflattering reviews, first do your research and find out the back story for the situation. Next, address the issue publicly in a professional and apologetic response. If, however, you are being tarnished without reason, take the steps necessary to remove the review according to the platform’s policies.
As long as physicians or their practices have not misrepresented themselves, and they take the time to respond to reviews in the appropriate manner, this shouldn’t be an issue. The main concern for physicians and the practices they represent should be maintaining an image of trustworthiness and care in their presentation online.