Why is Online Reputation Management Important for Doctors?

Online Reputation Management is the influencing and/or control of an individual's or business's online reputation.

Originally a public relations term, the advancement of internet and social media use, along with reputation management companies, have made it primarily an issue of search results. Parts of reputation management are often associated with ethical grey areas, such as review sites, censoring negative complaints or using SEO tactics to game the system and influence results. There are also ethical forms of reputation management, which are frequently used, such as responding to customer complaints, asking sites to take down incorrect information and using online feedback to influence product development.

Why is an online reputation important for doctors and medical practices?

More patients than ever are going online to research their doctor. According to a study from Pew Internet, 44 percent of patients online do so. And about one in five use physician-rating sites. Physicians don't want to be defined by a negative news story, or a bad review from an online physician-rating site. That's why it's important that they take control of their online reputation before someone else does. The number of patients who consider physician-rating sites to be important is much higher than it was just a few years ago. 

Physicians should see online reviews as an opportunity for growth, and encourage patients to leave positive reviews. A new patient that understands your strengths and flaws and chooses you with awareness of these factors is likely to be a patient you'll enjoy working with. 

Doctors can encourage online reviews and take a few simple steps to developing a good online reputation:

  • Sign up for physician review sites. Don't wait for the reviews to come to you. Create a profile on major review sites. You'll be able to provide the websites with accurate, up to date information, including your practice address, specialties, education, and awards.
  • Respond to reviews. Show patients that you truly care what they think of your service as a medical professional by responding to their reviews, both positive and negative.
  • Consider negative feedback a gift. Hearing the truth hurts, especially if a review is not entirely fair or based on factors outside of your control. Still, negative reviews can help you shed light on missteps in your practice. Patients who complain about long wait times or trouble with filling prescriptions may help you better direct your office staff. 
  • Ask patients to review you. Let patients know that you are proud of your work as a physician, and that you appreciate recommendations, both through word of mouth and online. Place links to physician review sites on your website and newsletters, allowing patients to see and contribute to your reviews online 
It's important for doctors to Google themselves at least once a week and see what comes up, because that's what patients are doing

Source: Reputationmanagement.com, HuffingtonPost.com 

How to Choose the Right Doctor

Choosing the right doctor is one of the most important health decisions you’ll make.It’s hard to find reliable information about specific doctors. EZDoctor.com offers the most comprehensive reports available online for doctors. 

Here are some things you should know before selecting a physician

Contact information, Locations and Gender. Having a doctor’s contact information and gender will allow you to know their location and how convenient it will be to see this doctor.

License Information. It is important to know if your doctor is licensed to provide the care that you need.

Education. To learn more about your physician’s background EZDoctor Reports contain information regarding where they studied, graduation date, board certifications, as well as their internship, residency and fellowship. This will help you make an educated decision regarding your doctor’s training and ability.

Hospital Affiliations/Privileges.  Its common practice for a doctor to have their office in one location and perform treatment in a separate location. For example, you could go to a doctor’s office for a consultation regarding your knee and that doctor might provide treatment and/or surgery at a hospital that he is affiliated with or has privileges. By having this information before hand, it can help you in deciding whether this doctor would be the most convenient for you.

Procedure Pricing Information. When taking care of any health concern, one of the main things we consider is the cost associated with any procedures that might be necessary. An EZDoctor report will display an average charge for procedures performed by the physician you are reviewing.

Patient Referral Summary.  Primary care physicians, when needed, refer patients to a specialist. Especially when they face a diagnosis that is beyond their Scope of Practice. With an EZDoctor report you will see the  physicians referral pattern.

Pricing/Prescribing Habits. Is your  doctor more likely to prescribe a name brand versus a generic drug? Despite your preference, by seeing a breakdown of the most common prescriptions a physician orders you can get a clear view of his prescribing tendencies and average price per prescription.

Disciplinary Actions. Finding out if a physician has been sanctioned or not by a state medical board can be very useful when it comes to selecting a doctor to visit. Equally important is to know  what those infractions were related to.

Criminal Offenses. While federal criminal records are not available to the public, EZDoctor reports include state government records that indicate whether a physician has ever been charged or convicted of a crime. Allowing you to have this information prior to any consultation and/or treatment.

Malpractice Claims. You have the right to know if your physician has been involved in any incidents regarding his medical care. From surgical and medication errors to misdiagnoses, EZDoctor will provide the information you need.

Patient Reviews. It’s always good to know what other patients are saying about a physician. EZDoctor reports collect patient reviews from multiple sources.

You can find all the information you need on a physician by obtaining an EZDoctor Report. Go to ezdoctor.com now to get started! 

What You Should Know Before Surgery.

Before you undergo any type of surgery, cosmetic or medical, it is very important that you know and trust the surgeon. 

Here is some important information you should know before undergoing any type of surgery:

  • Qualifications and Experience. Knowing if your Doctor is board certified is crucial. Board certified means that in addition to the doctor completing years of school, fulfilling residency requirements and passing the examinations required to practice medicine in your state, your specialist participates in an ongoing process of continuing education to keep current with the latest advances in medical science and technology in his or her specialty as well as best practices in patient safety, quality healthcare and creating a responsive patient-focused environment. Certification matters.
  • How long has the surgeon been performing this type of procedure. 
  • Past work on other patients. Seeing the doctor's work on previous patients might give you an idea of how you will look after the procedure. Every doctor is different, you prefer the way one doctor does a procedure compared to others. 
  • How long has the surgeon been performing this type of procedure/How often does the doctor perform this procedure. Ideally, the doctor has done this procedure many times for several years.
  • Malpractice suits-  Incident in where a physician's care did not meet the accepted standards of practice. Some common types of medical malpractice include: misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical error, and medication error.
  • Has the doctor's medical license ever been revoked or suspended?
  • Does the doctor have any hospital privileges? If something goes wrong and you need to be admitted to the hospital, you want your doctor to keep treating you himself, rather than turning you over to another doctor with no prior knowledge of your case.
  • Criminal offenses. If the doctor has ever been convicted of a crime. 
  • What are the risks and complications? 

You can find all the information you need on your surgeon by obtaining an EZDoctor Report. Go to ezdoctor.com now!!! 


EZDoctor Reports

EZDoctor Reports - A Doctor’s Background Report for Patients

Some of you might be asking yourself what is an EZDoctor Report? And if you haven’t heard already, it’s a background report on doctors!

EZDoctor Reports include everything from procedure pricing to real patient reviews, and even malpractice lawsuits. Most of the information contained inside an EZDoctor Report is nearly impossible for a patient to find. Information we feel is essential for a patient to make an informed healthcare decision.


EZDoctor Reports include:

1.    Contact Information

2.    Office Locations

3.    License Information

4.    Insurance Accepted

5.    Education

6.    Hospital Affiliations/ Privileges

7.    Procedure Pricing Information (Medicare Only)

8.    Patient Referral Summary

9.    Prescribing Habits

10.  Publications

11.  Disciplinary Actions

12.  Criminal Offenses

13.  Malpractice Claims

14.  Real Patient Reviews

The Benefits for Patients

Patients without a doubt, will benefit the most from an EZDoctor Report. Allowing patients to feel more confident when choosing their health care provider. Before your next doctor’s visit, consider seeing your doctor’s EZDoctor Report. You might be surprised with what you find.

The Healthy Weekend Challenge

We've all been there: you try to eat healthy Monday through Friday, but then blow it on the weekend. A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study revealed that adults take in an extra 222 calories -nearly 15% of the number of calories an average women needs each day- over the course of the weekend (including Friday). This is why we created this "Healthy Weekend Challenge", it will help you stay on track and prepare you for next week!  Are you in? 

  • Get some rest and sleep. Don't start next week tired. Rather than cramming in a bunch of activities this weekend, take time to rest and sleep at least 7-8 hours each night.

  • Splurge in a healthy way. Some weeks feel longer than others, and you might feel like you need a little bit of a splurge, and by all means, go for it!! Make sure you splurge in a healthy way. Always choose the healthier options.

  • Make a meal plan for next week. Eating well is so much easier when you have a plan. Planning meals helps you manage your time better and makes meal preparation easier. Eliminate last minute stress and plan ahead of time. 

  • Squeeze in a longer workout. Since you have more time it will be easier to add some extra minutes to your workout.  

  • Stick to one cheat meal. Remember, its a cheat meal not a cheat weekend. 

  • Get outdoors. Spending more time outdoors can help with weight management, reduces risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, heart attacks and some forms of cancer. You also have more opportunities for social interactions, which may improve mental well-being.

  • Enjoy a glass of red wine. Red wine, in moderation, has been long thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, (also known as "good cholesterol") and protecting against artery damage. 

New Research means Bright Future for Type 1 Diabetics

Type 1 diabetics that are currently controlling their disorder through pills or injections may never need to poke themselves every again! Since type 1 diabetics cannot produce insulin, a naturally-occurring hormone of the human body, human guts cells that may be able to produce insulin might help to solve their condition. 

Researchers from Columbia University studied gastrointestinal cells located in the human torso. What they have found is that by turning off a single gene, named FOX01, in these arrangements causes those cells to start producing insulin. From this information, there is possible hope for a drug creation that would reinstruct cells in diabetics to start producing this much needed hormone. 
Researchers, using stem cells, created a tissue model of a human intestine and trained those cells to stop the FOXO1 gene which, within a week, started producing the crucial hormone. What really made this research plausible, was the cells only started producing insulin when they were provided with sugar, just like the natural process of the human body. 

Since the human immune system can reject cells that are foreign to them, current procedures using stem or embryonic cells, will become obsolete. With this research, patients will be able to train their own cells to produce insulin allowing the prevention of procedural rejections and increasing the amount of successful patients. 

More research is still needed before this becomes available to the public. However if it does the efforts of medical researchers over the past twenty years will finally end in victory. 

Production of insulin in the gastrointestinal cells investigation was published in the journalNature Communications.

Is Sushi Really Healthy?

International Sushi Day is upon us and every year sushi is becoming more and more popular. It is looked at as the healthier choice of take out, date night, or girl’s night out. However, as healthy as it might sound, some maki sushi rolls can be loaded with more calories and fat than a cheeseburger! 

Use these tips to keep your rolls tasty but still nutritious:  

1. Ask for Brown Rice: Although this option only saves you a handful of calories, it is the whole grains that make it healthy. Whole grains have been proven to be heart healthy and protective!
2. Skip on Tempura or any fried rolls: Fried anything is filled with extra calories and fat. You can still eat your favorite rolls by asking the restaurant not to deep-fry it. 
3. Choose Veggies: Vegetables rolls, such as avocado, cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, and many others only offer heart healthy goodness while keeping the calories low. 
4. Eel is an ill choice: Eel is very high in calories and fat, and although it is delicious, limit yourself to this roll once in a while.
5. Be Selective on Spicy Mayo: Spicy Tuna rolls are delicious and tuna is a great choice, but when drenched in mayo it becomes a waste of calories. 

Try this Healthy Spin on your Favorite Sushi Roll at Home:

Quinoa Sushi

Ingredients – Serves 3:

- 3 sheets of nori

- 170g/half a cup of quinoa

- 3 tbsp thick greek yogurt

- 2 carrots, grated

- Half green pepper, sliced

- Half a salmon fillet, cooked

See the rest of the recipe here on Hungry Healthy Happy’s Bloghttp://www.hungryhealthyhappy.com/quinoa-sushi/

EZDOCTOR: Lupus Q & A with Rheumatologist: Dr. Santiago

Dr. Santiago-Casas joined Drs. Kahn and Riskin’s practice (South Florida Rheumatologist) after serving as an attending physician and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

You can book an appointment with Dr. Santiago-Casas in Hollywood, Florida here: 

What is systemic lupus erythematosus or lupus? 

This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system that normally works to fight infections and harmful cells fails and attacks the body. It is 10 times more frequent in women and usually affects 20-30 year old women.  Lupus is most common in certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Asians and Hispanics. It is a chronic disease that can affect multiple organs in the body including the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, and brain.  

What is the cause of lupus?

The exact cause of SLE is not known. However, both genetic and environmental factors have been linked to its development.

What are the symptoms of lupus? 

Lupus is a disease that affects multiple systems in the body. The symptoms of lupus include the following: tiredness or fatigue, weight loss, fever without cause, headaches, skin rash especially with sun exposure (this includes the characteristic rash that may appear on the nose and cheeks shaped like a butterfly), hair loss, mouth sores, easy bruising, joint pain, swelling, and/or stiffness, foamy urine, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes.  The spectrum of manifestations of SLE is wide, meaning that some people may present mild symptoms, while others present severe manifestations. The symptoms of arthritis occur in many lupus patients, commonly affecting the fingers, wrists and knees. The majority of the patients have periods of time where the disease is active (commonly known as flares), followed by inactive disease.  

How is SLE diagnosed?

SLE is diagnosed by evaluating the signs and symptoms the patient presents, as well as by the findings in physical examination. Certain laboratory tests are crucial for confirming a diagnosis of lupus. The most important screening test measures ANA, but having a positive ANA does not necessarily mean that a patient has lupus. If the patient presents a positive ANA, more specific tests are necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

What is the treatment of SLE?

There is no cure for SLE. However, there is very good therapy to control the disease and limit the damage to the organs. This therapy has particularly advanced over the lasts years.  The specific type of therapy depends on the manifestations and the severity of lupus. Milder symptoms may respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). Therapy also involves hydroxychloroquine and steroids which are used to control the immune system and prevent damage related to the disease. Steroids are very useful in lupus however their use should be carefully monitor as to prevent unwanted side effects such as weight gain, weakening of the bones, and diabetes, among others.  

-Other medications that suppress the immune system might be necessary to control lupus activity including mycophenolate, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine. Newer medications that have been used to treat lupus patients include biologic agents such as rituximab, abatacept and recently belimumab, which has been FDA approved for treating SLE. 

-Avoiding the sun exposure is very important since it has been linked to flares of SLE. It is especially important to avoid exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM. Patients are advised to use protective clothing and sunscreen with SPF of 50 or greater. 

-It is recommended that lupus patients follow a well-balanced diet which is low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Since steroid use (prednisone) may be required, weight gain might be a possible side effect of therapy. It is important for patients to remain active.  Especially in patients who take steroids, calcium and vitamin d supplementation is advised. Calcium is recommended at a range of 1000-1200 mg daily, while vitamin d is recommended at 400-800 units daily, in order to decrease bone loss (which can occur with steroid use).

-A number of medications have been linked to worsening of lupus symptoms. It is crucial that patients tell their doctors they have lupus and the medications they are taking. 

Lupus and pregnancy

It is important that patients with lupus plan their pregnancies and discuss their desires of pregnancy with their doctors early in this process. The chances of having a pregnancy without complications improve when patients become pregnant once their lupus is in control. If the lupus is active, patients should avoid pregnancy due to the high risk of possible complications.

Lupus is a complex disease, many times very challenging to manage. Thus, it is crucial to follow with a Rheumatologist who is the expert in diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases such as SLE in order to start therapy promptly and effectively.
This is the butterfly or malar rash, a red rash that involves the cheeks and nose and that is frequently triggered by sun exposure.
Lupus is a disease that can affect multiple organs. It can cause inflammation in the kidneys, the tissue lining the lungs (pleura) and heart (pericardium), and the brain.

Be sure to visit her website: http://www.southfloridarheumatology.com/

This blog was taken by granted request from: http://www.southfloridarheumatology.com/blogs

EZDOCTOR: Rheumatoid arthritis Q & A with Rheumatologist: Dr. Santiago

Dr. Santiago-Casas joined Drs. Kahn and Riskin’s practice (South Florida Rheumatologist) after serving as an attending physician and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

You can book an appointment with Dr. Santiago-Casas in Hollywood, Florida here: 

What is rheumatoid arthritis? 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that produces pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The specific cause of this condition remains unknown, however genetic, hormonal, infectious and environmental factors have been linked to its development. It a type of autoimmune disease, meaning there is an error in the system that protects us from infections, where the system now attacks the joints. Approximately 1.3 million adults in the United States have RA. This type of arthritis is more common in women. It usually starts around the fourth and six decade of life, however it can occur at any age.

What are the symptoms of RA?

RA usually affects the small joints in the fingers, wrists and feet. It predominantly affects both sides of the body at the same time. Although it usually starts in the small joints of the fingers and toes, it can affect any of the joints. In addition, it may also begin in a single joint such as the knee or the shoulder. The onset of joint symptoms is usually gradually. These symptoms include joint pain, redness, warmth to the touch, and joint swelling. The joint stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and tends to last longer than 1 hour. Other symptoms of RA include tiredness, low grade fevers, loss of appetitive, nodules in the skin, and dryness of eyes. RA affects not only the joints, but other parts of the body as well, such as the eyes, heart, and lungs.

How is RA diagnosed?

The diagnosis of RA is based on a composite of factors including the characteristic signs and symptoms of the condition, the findings on physical examination, the results of the laboratory tests and the imaging results (including x-rays, ultrasound, and MRI). The initial symptoms of the condition may be very subtle making it especially difficult to diagnose in its early stages. 

What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? 

The course of RA is variable. In the majority of the people the symptoms fluctuate for weeks or months. However, it is generally impossible to predict the course of RA or how it will affect a particular individual. Studies have shown however that the treatment of this type of arthritis must be initiated early in its course as to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, improve the quality of life, preserve physical function, and prevent joint damage.

The treatment in general of this condition involves three classes of medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or ‘NSAIDs’), steroids, and disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (or ‘DMARDs’). The specific type of medications depends on the patient’s individual characteristics and their side effect profile. However, once the diagnosis of RA is made the patient must start therapy with a DMARD promptly. DMARDs include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, and the biologic agents. Response to treatment usually requires several weeks, depending on the medication used. 

The biologic agents include etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, certolizumab pegol, golimumab, abatacept, tocilizumab, rituximab, and the newer agent tofacitinib. In contrast to non-biologic DMARDs, the biologic agents begin to work rapidly within 2 weeks for some medications and four to six weeks for others. Biologics are usually used in combination with methotrexate; however some of them may also be used alone. 

Of note, studies have shown that patients with RA have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, thus starting appropriate therapy for this type of arthritis is crucial not only for the joints, but for the rest of body.

Lifestyle changes are also important including eating a healthy diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also it is very important to stay active. However, during the episodes of flares of the arthritis, rest is advised and active exercises are avoided because symptoms might worsen. During these periods, mostly stretching and range of motion exercises are maintained. Evaluation by a physical therapist might be warranted to tailor a specific exercise program.

Several studies have shown that smoking is a risk factor for RA and that quitting smoking can actually improve the symptoms of this condition.  People with RA who smoke need to quit doing so promptly.

Surgery might necessary in patients with long term RA who do not exhibit ongoing inflammation, but rather present joint damage. In these cases where pain originates from joint damage and long term effects of arthritis, surgery might be indicated to replace the damaged joint.

The rheumatologists are the specialists best suited to diagnose this condition, especially in the early stages of the condition where it can mimic other diseases, and offer the best therapy available.

The structure of the normal joint is shown on the left. On the right side is the joint with rheumatoid arthritis. RA causes pain and swelling of the synovium (the tissue that lines the joint). This can make cartilage (the tissue that cushions between joints) and bone wear away (erosion).

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the wrist and the small joints of the hand, including the knuckles and the middle joints of the fingers.

Be sure to visit her website: http://www.southfloridarheumatology.com/

This blog was taken by granted request from: http://www.southfloridarheumatology.com/blogs

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Who’s to Blame?

Confusion about Carbohydrates – Change Your Diet, Change Your Body

By Brooke Huber

Yes, Carbohydrates are energy producing nutrients, but too much of a good thing can be bad! It is important to understand the difference between good carbs and bad carbs.

Good carbohydrates include high fiber foods containing an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals to maintain an even supply of energy. Good Carbohydrates Examples: whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables. Bad carbs come from white bread, white rice, pastry, sugary sodas and other highly processed foods, which can lead to obesity. If you eat a lot of these bad carbs they will increase your risk for disease.

When you intake carbohydrates, your pancreas releases insulin, this hormone enables you to digest starches and sugars. The more sucrose you have (table sugar) the higher your insulin level becomes. When exercising, the first thing your body burns off BEFORE the fat, is insulin. So the more carbs you have in your body, the longer it takes to lose that weight. If you really want to be healthier and shed off those pounds quickly, cut out the bad carbohydrates and try replacing them for good carbohydrates and protein. The difference you will see in your weight loss is night and day. If you’re not in taking as many bad carbs, then there is less insulin in your body and you will begin to immediately burn off the fat. Here, use this diagram to help you better understand.

Notice the layer of carbohydrates (insulin) in the body above. When you intake carbohydrates, a layer of insulin formulates around the fat like you see in the picture. While many people will exercise and believe they are burning this fat, many have not even reached that stage. Many people will also leave the gym and have a high carb meal without being aware. This leaves your workout merely pointless. Replacing those bad carbs for good carbs and protein will keep that layer of insulin thin. Thus, making your goal to lose weight achievable and your risk for diseases much lower by obtaining a healthy balance in your diet. Feel and look great fast, change your diet and create a better you!