Anyone who says they don’t care about their reputation is either one of two things: Joan Jett or a liar.
Medical practices are some of the few organizations that cannot afford to let their reputation fall by the way side. When someone is choosing the practice that will be responsible for treating, caring, and possibly diagnosing them, they tend to be picky about who they choose.
That is why, in order to attract a steady flow of patients, medical practices need to take an active role in preserving their online reputation. They can do this by focusing on three major areas where their reputation is vulnerable.
Healthcare Site Profiles
There are websites that cater to people looking for the right physician for themselves and their family; it’s here that your practice needs to pay close attention to the information attributed to your name.
Like your name.
Basic information like this needs to be up-to-date. Names, photographs, philosophy, and whether or not you are taking new patients should always be accurate or you run the risk of misrepresenting your practice or yourself.
Photos should be professional and of good quality, and your personal philosophy should make sense to the average patient.
Insurance information should also always be accurate, have your staff regularly check to see if the right carriers and plans are listed on your profile.
Sites like ZocDoc, Vitas, and Healthgrades provide even more extensive information to those who visit your profile. Here is where you can expand on your expertise and make mention of the procedures and fields you specialize in.
Medical practices serve as prime targets for cyberattacks, in fact a recent survey of 1,300 physicians found that 83% had experienced some sort of cyberattack.
Healthcare related industries are attractive for criminals since they usually deal with tons of personal information pertaining to their patients. If any of that information were to get out, it could mean bad news for your practice. Cyber criminals know this, so they will attempt to hold a practice ransom until their demands are met.
You can take steps to protect your practice from cyber attacks by constantly updating passwords, never sharing login information with one another, utilizing cloud software, and creating backups of important files.
Probably the most vulnerable place for your reputation to be damaged is your practice’s social media page. If your practice does not have a social media presence, then you are already opening yourself up to damage. You need to own your social media presence, that way no one else but you and your practice can define the service you give.
It’s also in your best interest to look for any mentions of your practice in other people’s Tweets, statuses, or posts. If you encounter something that makes your practice look bad, kindly address the issue in a public response. Many times, people just want to be heard. Staying in communication with them makes them feel good about not only themselves, but about your practice as well.
This is the ultimate goal of any establishment that chooses to be in the public eye: to look good and have a positive reputation among the members of the community it serves.