Establishing a Good Online Reputation- A Guide for Doctors

Establishing a good online reputation is one of the principal requirements for a medical practitioner in today’s internet savvy world. Whether you have a small practice or a major corporate hospital, your reputation precedes your work.

 

It is up to you to put forward your best, for the world to know and reach you.In a country like India, the mark of a good doctor is an overall combination of great clinical and social skills. Of course the new generation is well informed and educated and often consults their peer and local search engines while deciding on a hospital or doctor.

 

Why should you build your Online Presence?

Your get outreach and access to your patients: Majority of the population now has access to the internet.

You can provide ease and convenience to your patients: Many people have to juggle their job and personal time, and prefer to use the internet in their hunt for a good doctor.

Give your patient the chance to know you at the click of a button: More than ever people today are taking to the web world to read , research and reach a particular hospital/doctor.

Streamline patient inflow, enhance patient experience: Today many hospitals have already begun online appointment scheduling and patient interaction to save valuable time and improve patient experience.

In this electronic age, sustainability is largely determined by search engine results. A good online reputation facilitates a good score on search engines and improves your visibility in the digital market. Here are a few simple and interesting tips that will help you to showcase yourself as a well-accomplished medical practitioner.

 

Seven Steps To An Intelligently-Built Online Profile

1. Showcase Your Credentials

Your qualification, credential, and experience matter the most for the client reviewing your profile. Most patients rely on online reviews as it augments their faith. Your medical credentials and licensures offer patients the comfort of knowing that you have the knowledge and skills to heal their ailments.

2. Make Your Profile Visually Appealing

A professional headline with your picture and your distinctive name is what people see as most appealing. Therefore, it is truly worth it to take a few minutes and create something that allures the patients.

  1. Upload a headshot as professional looking as possible.
  2. You can also be creative enough and make a professional video of your own. The video would give the patients a clear picture about your specialization. It will also help convey the level of professionalism.
  3. Make a profile so simple that it is readable to every individual hailing from different backgrounds.
  4. Use key words relating to your work. In your profile, highlight the skills, which set you apart from others in the same industry.

3. Manage the Social Media

Whether it is your website, corporate blog or Facebook fan page, the information about your clinic or profile on the web should reflect your brand. It should convey the mission and objectives of your practice. However, you should be discreet in what you post on these networks. These networks should not host content related to your personal life. 1, 2

Keep Updating: Just because it is on the web, does not mean that it should exist as a storage tower. Your website should be updated about the latest activities carried out at your clinic or any new technology being introduced in treating diseases.

Provide Patient Education Material: You may also post content to educate your patients on self-care. These posts are the most-read content on the social media.

Share Knowledge: Some doctors may also post content about latest research findings. It helps to convey that their knowledge is up to date.

4. Manage Online Reviews

The results of a study indicated that 50 percent of patients believe that positive online reviews and high ratings on social networking sites could convince them to choose a particular doctor. Only 18 percent of respondents say that reviews have no influence at all on their selection.

In a more connected society, online patient reviews and doctor ratings replace traditional word of mouth referrals. As a result, online reviews become essential to establishing relationships with new patients. Positive online reviews help you to increase the number of patients you see. The opposite may also happen if you get negative reviews. 

Manage your online reviews smartly and be quick to respond sympathetically. In case of negative feedback always put forth your side of the story and justify yours stance.

Managing negative reviews is a skill, and should be handled tactfully, without blaming the reviewer. Downplay the event and highlight the positive aspects in relation to the context. Always keep in mind that bad review will happen, and be mentally prepared to face it. 

 

How to handle a bad review?

If the review is on a website that provides some control on the reviews, such as delete function, then it is better to delete it. If not, then the next best thing is to accept the review, if the mistake happened at their end. Apologize on behalf of the staff, if anyone from the team was responsible, and ask the patient if anything can be done to rectify it. Who can be ever angry on the team who wants to take corrective actions to help them?

If the mistake did not happen at your end, then also apologize for the inconvenience caused, however, be sure to include your part of story too. Use a language that conveys concern and respect.

5. Focus on Preventive health benefits for the public

The social networking sites are a boon to expand and increase your network. This network may help you to interact with your patients and answer their queries if any. On your social network, emphasize on your commitment to help society live healthier lives. Providing tips or suggestions for preventive care may also yield you a good fan following.

Twitter, Face book, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media tools helps you to interact directly with various brands and vice versa. You can upload your professional details on these sites. These tools give you an opportunity to display your practice to a large number of potential clients.

6. Provide Help Schemes and Offers

Let people know that you are willing to help those in need despite their financial restrictions. Clearly list the schemes and benefits you can provide. Kindness always tips the scales. The medical practitioners with the best online reviews are those who work to care for the person as a whole. They allow their patients to talk and listen to them with patience.

Offer assistance to patients who genuinely cannot afford treatment. Link up with local government and insurance agencies to assist the needy.

This mode of operation not only enhances your practice but brings job satisfaction to you as a practitioner.

7. Apply Best Practices of Branding

One of the best things you can do to expand and manage your medical practice, is to use a name distinctly different from your personal name. By branding your practice, you set the stage for patients to speak about a brand instead of a person. Your scores will reflect the overall performance of your team instead of being a reflection of your professional performance as an individual practitioner. People may talk good or bad about your brand, and not about you as a doctor.

 

A Quick look at some tips to build your brand image :

Showcase your core strength: Depending on whether you are a general practitioner, an orthopedic surgeon, a gastroenterologist or a cardiologist. Highlight your specializations and skills.

Choose your target audience: Will you be treating a majority or women, children or aged patients? How do you plan to care for them? Let them know your vision, so that they can trust you better.

Keep your message constant: Let your website, brochures and all other communication literature clearly convey a strong and consistent message. This builds confidence in the minds of your patients.
Online Reputation- The Key to Success:Last but not the least, be a good citizen of your country and follow all moral and ethical values, and treat your patients with compassion. Have a disciplined and proactive approach to online marketing. Your skill of managing your online reputation may help you emerge as an industry leader. So, don’t be left behind!

Source: transformhealth-it.org