Health is the most important aspect of everyone's life, so it’s not surprising that people pay the most attention to choosing healthcare providers. Today, patients most often make that decision based on online reviews. This is exactly why doctor reputation management is one of the essential business aspects of every healthcare institution.
If you’re a doctor, we encourage you to keep reading because we’ll explain why you should focus on doctor reputation management, which factors are influencing it, and how to improve it.
What is doctor reputation management?
As the name suggests, doctor reputation management refers to building and maintaining an online reputation.
Whether you work independently or are part of a larger healthcare system, your future patients must trust you. Today, most patients start their search for a doctor by reading online reviews. Online reviews are important for every business, especially for the ones concerning the health of your patient and his family.
This is precisely why you must not allow yourself to ignore your online reputation since it will be the deciding factor when making the final decision.
Don’t trust us? Then we suggest you take a look at one of the newest studies that show that around 81% of patients check a doctor's reputation before making the final call.
Moreover, here are some other very interesting facts that you should take into account when thinking about doctor reputation management:
- If a doctor has negative (or not completely positive) reviews, more than 40% of patients won’t consider him/her as an option;
- 75% of patients only take into consideration health providers that have 4 and more star ratings;
- Around 70% check more than 2 review platforms;
- 80% of patients pay close attention to the review date - if the review is older than one year, the patient trust is lower
More than enough reasons to keep reading about how to improve your doctor's reputation management, don’t you think?
Factors affecting doctor reputation management
Now that you understood how important doctor reputation management is, we should focus on explaining what affects it. There are a couple of things that stand out:
- Patient reviews
This is a no-brainer. As we explained above, research shows that patient reviews can make or break your business. That’s especially true when a patient is choosing a doctor for the first time. So, we advise you to pay close attention to your reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. Patients expect an answer in a couple of days (if not right away) so make sure to be diligent.
Having a website is extremely important for doctor reputation management, especially for small and medium businesses (for the bigger ones is already a must). If the patient has heard about you, but can’t find your website, you’ll unnecessarily lose him. Moreover, having a website makes you stand out among the competition, especially if your website is well-optimized. Good optimization will enable your website to be ranked higher on Google, thus making it easier for potential patients to find you.
Additionally, having a website improves your credibility. It shows that you’re a serious business and that you’re making an extra effort to present yourself to the patients. Credibility can also be boosted by linking some of your published articles or research. Articles, or being quoted in one, always represent you as an industry expert.
- Social channels
Besides having a website, it would be highly recommended to have social media channels as well. People are always on social media, so they’re actively searching for healthcare there too. Social media is a good chance to show your workspace, share a couple of tips, maybe some testimonials, or even make a short video of presenting yourself, or just chat from time to time with your followers.
These are a couple of points to consider, but we would like to bring to your attention one more that is often forgotten - being listed on doctor reputation websites.
Is it important to be listed on doctor reputation websites?
The math is clear - the more listings you're present, the higher the chances for patients to find you. Although it’s beneficial to have your website and preferably Google Business Profile, many patients will first visit well-known directories.
These doctor review websites allow patients to leave a review after visiting a certain doctor or a health care institution. Patients usually use them to share their overall experience as well as some particularities such as friendliness and punctuality.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended to have a profile on such websites. Most importantly, creating a profile is not difficult at all. What you need to pay attention to though is that all of your information is up to date. That means your address, working hours, pricing plans (if disclosed), and your team (unless you’re working alone).
But, what can create confusion is not knowing where to begin with.
Here are a couple of websites that can help you with improving your doctor's reputation management.
Doctor review sites you should check out
There are many websites that you can take into consideration, but we’ll mention only 3 of them.
Healthgrades is an American company specializing in healthcare. It provides information about more than 3 million healthcare professionals in the States, so it’s definitely a place to be if you’re looking for improvements in your doctor's reputation management.
Vitals can be another great option. Their platform directs people to find doctors and medical service providers that are most suited to their needs. More than 280 million people each year rely on Vitals to find the best and most affordable healthcare. Definitely worth considering it!
Doctor.com is also one of the leading websites when it comes to the healthcare industry. In favor of their popularity speaks to the fact that they have around 30 million monthly users. Doctors can create their profiles which are carefully checked, so make sure to make all the important information up to date. That means that your certifications, payment plans, accepted insurance, etc. should be always updated to provide relevant information.
Getting your profile listed on some of these websites can have a significant impact on your doctor's reputation management. In this way, you become more accessible to potential patients and increase your visibility.
However, tracking reviews on all these platforms is not an easy task.
To have time to devote yourself to what you do best, why not consider leaving this part of the job to the professionals? Numerous online review aggregator tools were created precisely to help you track and respond to all reviews - both on your website, social networks, and on other third-party websites.
If you’re already using some of our tips, why not share your experience with other readers? They’ll sure appreciate it.
We’re waiting for you in the comments section!