When somebody posts a bad or good comment online about your medical practice, it would be visible to anyone, 24/7. If these posts are on high traffic websites, they would show up on all major search engines. Negative reviews can do more harm than you think and have a far-reaching effect on your reputation and revenues. What is disturbing is that some of these reviews may be false. Luckily, reputation management can save the day.
An emerging trend, medical reputation management is a combination of marketing and public relations. It has the ability to protect doctors, medical practices and healthcare organizations from reputation-destroying comments.
Studies have shown that reputation management for physicians and healthcare organizations as many patients check reviews before consultation. So it is necessary for doctors to protect themselves from malicious or negative comments on the World Wide Web which can affect their reputation.
Here are some simple steps which can take your medical practice to maintain a good reputation.
- Always communicate effectively with patients: Make sure that you are communicating in clear and compassionate way with your patients. This will help clear their doubts and build trust and loyalty.
- Change the negative review to a positive one: By giving clear and proper replies and answering to patients questions accurately, you can change the negative opinions about your practice to positive reviews. This can be effective in certain circumstances.
- Google yourself: Know what there to manage. Google yourself at least once in a month and know what people are saying about your practice. Being aware of online content on frequent basis will help you to clear potential problems.
- Remove negative reviews: Try your best to correct or remove negative reviews. If you have noticed that the terms and conditions of your website have been violated, you can contact your website administrator to remove the false information or take legal action, if necessary.
Most patients are happy with the services that their doctors provide them. If they do post complaints online, it would take just a phone call to clear them up, says Steven Wyer, Managing Director of Reputation Advocate Inc. and author of the book Violated Online. However, Wyer cautions that physicians should be careful about responding to derogatory comments and should do so with HIPAA regulations in mind.
If you feel that your reputation needs salvaging, locate a HIPAA-compliant healthcare outsourcing company that offers reputation management services for physicians as part of its search engine optimization solutions. With professional monitoring of your online reputation and the use of various strategies, a reliable service provider will help you sustain a positive online presence.