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.
encourage online reviews and take a few simple steps to developing a good
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
- 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