More patients than ever are going online to research their doctor. According to a study from Pew Internet, 44% of patients are researching their doctor online before committing to them, and about one in five conducting research use physician-rating sites.
It’s important for doctors to Google themselves at least once a week and be aware of what comes up, because that’s exactly what their current and potential new patients are doing. Physicians don’t want to be defined by a negative news story, or a bad review from an online physician-rating site, which is why it’s important that they mange and take control of their online reputation before they send out a negative and inaccurate impression. There are important steps that physicians can take to ensure they are in charge of their reputation.
Have a Website: If a potential or existing patient searches for you or your practice and the only result is a third party site, you run the risk of the patient getting incorrect information or negative reviews. Having a professional and attractive website gives patients a look at what your practice represents, and offers useful and accurate information.
Get Social: Social media provides an effective medium for doctors to communicate with their patients. Being in control of how you and your practice are portrayed is important, but even more so is being able connect to patients on a personal level. It means a lot to patients when they can connect to their doctor or their practice on Facebook, Twitter or Google +.
Set Up a Google Alert: An easy way to monitor the information available about you online is to set up a Google alert for your name, or the name of your practice. With this alert, anytime you are mentioned online you will become immediately aware via an email to your desired account.
When you consider how online transparency has changed other industries, such as hotels, books, and movies, it’s only a matter of time before the same change happens across the healthcare field.
For more information about how Prescription PR can help your healthcare practice please call (631) 392-4255.