Is your online reputation bringing you new patients, or driving them away?
When a patient begins to research for a doctor online, they hit 14 digital touchpoints before they make a decision.
What does your online reputation tell potential patients about you and your practice?
People in general are hesitant to share reviews unless they are polarizing in their sentiment, either very good or very bad. Which is great on one side and detrimental on the other. Patients are even more hesitant to share reviews of a medical nature. But having filtered systems in place to attract reviews from multiple avenues while aiding in public posting of the positive ones, we can create a positive online medical reputation that has a recurring effect of bringing in new patients.
The claiming and setup of your business and medical profiles need to be done properly before leading patients to leave reviews on them. To learn about how to properly claim your medical and healthcare profiles read our step by step guide about the top listings.
The common responses to ‘how is your reputation doing?’ is generally a simple answer like ‘we just ignore those sites’ or ‘we tell our patient to review us online’. Where both seem harmless but can have lasting negative effects on your medical reputation.
‘We just ignore those sites.’
Moz.com, a leading marketing and web crawler agency, revealed the top ten sites for medical professionals to have citations on. By citations they are referring to NAP, which stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. This information must be correct and uniformed across reputation and listing sites. Additionally, within each site individually they may allow for further information such as specialty, board certification, education and more. Here a preview of some of the sites:
Why is having correct and up to date information on these sites important? You may ignore those specific sites, but the hundreds of millions of people searching online for healthcare and medical related information are not. These are people actively looking for a healthcare provider and no matter the offline reputation you have they will not find that represented online. To be found, your information has to be correct, current, and showcase you and your practice.
‘We tell our patients to review us online.’
If may not initially but this can be more detrimental than ignoring those sites. Not only are you giving patients free reign to write whatever they want about you, they have the choice of where to do it. With hundreds if not thousands of review sites you need to know which have the most value and focus on them. You dont want a shining review to get buried on a low value site that will never be seen or picked up by search engines. Also you may give outstanding care to that patient and assume the review you ask for will be positive but that often times is not the case. Too many times patients review insurance paperwork or EOB’s and mistaken these document for something else. In that moment of anger they want to share their experience with you and highlight just this part.
A process must be in place to proactively guide people to review the individual sites we determine as most valuable and have the ability to filter the reviews that are posted publicly.
Gain Control Over Your Online Medical Reputation
Technology Partnership with Doctor.com
How do you manage your doctor reputation?
Reviews have always been an integral part of the decision process for a long time. With the adoption of services like ZocDoc people have been becoming more open to online reviews within the medical field. You may have the most satisfied patients but if that is not presented properly online you are missing out on a large network of potential patients that should see your positive doctor reputation.
Your online reputation is the difference between being dismissed before even given a chance and getting a new appointment request. With the development of multiple review outlets such as Vitals, Rate MDs, Health Grades, U Compare Health, ZocDoc, Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List monitoring them has become a requirement.
How do we manage your doctor reputation?
The best way to control your online doctor reputation is to take control of the listings and results that you have access to. When someone searches for you by name or practice there are several doctor reputation “touchpoints” that they come across. Many of them may not be the traditional review outlet but actually a professional profile, personal website or physician listing. By claiming, building out and showcasing your expertise in these self-controlled listings you can manage a large part of your doctor reputation. medical marketing reputation search results.
Once you control the sources you are able to the next step is to set up a system to build as many positive reviews in the key outlets as possible. Building a constant source of positive reviews is a key part of the doctor reputation management system. There are a few methods that can be used to build your online reputation:
1. In Office Review Outlet – An office managed computer where you can request which patients to post reviews.
2. Email Follow up – Selectively choose which patients to send review request to from in take forms or through the review outlet.
These are only a few methods and most importantly rely on having a trained staff who understand who and how to request reviews. Additionally it is also important to know which are the most important review sources to focus on.
You care what your patients say to there friends and family, so you should also care what they say to the world. Allowing anyone the outlet to review you has created a powerful tool to aid in the development of your practice. But it also created an open market for misrepresentation which needs to be monitored. According to a Nielsen study reputation of the facility/doctor is taken into the highest consideration at 94% taking more value then whether a prospective patients insurance is accepted.
You may have had the greatest intentions and care but a patient that has expectations that cannot be met will not know your intentions. An unhappy patients is always more likely to leave a review online and usually in multiple places. This can quickly snowball and open the the gates for similar reviews or the loss of potential patients looking for the same type of doctor. This one review may not represent you or the care you provided but to others it is perceived as an unbiased look into your world. Working with the staff at these sites can sometime lead to the identification of an invalid review. This along with the help in placing credible positive reviews will aid in removing the weight from the one negative review.