Online review sites have become a phenomenon physicians can no longer ignore. In 2016, if you don’t properly manage your online reputation, you are losing referrals. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 60% of patients say physicians’ ratings on websites are either ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’.
Clearly, your online medical reputation matters. Here are the three rules for staying healthy in today’s digital world.
1. Look Professional Online
There are many sites out there with profiles on your practice, usually containing inaccurate information such as the wrong address or phone number. It is critical that you manage this information and ensure it is up-to-date and that your profiles shine.
2. Know What’s Being Said About You
It’s important you discover patient complaint areas and are aware of problematic office issues. Deploying patient satisfaction surveys and monitoring your online reviews are two great ways to stay on top of what your patients are saying about you.
3. Control Your Reviews
The worst way to approach online reviews is to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. It’s crucial you have a plan in place to proactively manage your reviews and take control.
- If you receive a negative review, you should screen it to see if it violates the site’s Terms of Service and is removable.
- You are also able to respond to reviews on the sites themselves. A short, professional, HIPAA compliant response, where you apologize for the overall negative experience and ask the patient to call your office to discuss, is a great way to show your patients you care.
- If you receive a positive review, you should spread it across the web as much as you can.
Taking these three rules to heart and implementing them in your practice will go a long way to safeguarding your online reputation in 2016. Protect your good name so you can focus on being a great doctor.
Uri Turk is the co-founder and Chief Reputation Officer of MedicalReputation.com, a NYC-based health tech startup focused on helping doctors use patient feedback to monitor and improve their practices.