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Posted by Sam

Need of Online Reputation Management for Healthcare Practitioners

Online Reputation Management for Healthcare Practitioners

 

Introduction

There is an immense difference between the earlier and present times when it comes to the healthcare and wellness industry. Internet and digitalization have helped patients as well as practitioners a long way. There’s been great progress regarding advanced techniques, facilities and new technology in healthcare. However, there’s a flip side too, which most hospitals and practitioners are facing. As the industry continues to grow, the woes of hospitals and practitioners are also expanding, especially one of the significant problems in healthcare – Online Reputation Management.

Once upon a time...
  • Less educative:

It was not long back when a patient would find a hospital or a surgeon offline. More often patient showed their dependency on word of mouth. This was usually due to the limited sources of information available. The only source of information for the awareness of disease was the physician. Ultimately, patients were left with no other option but to ask someone else or visit the nearest clinic or hospital.

  • Less exposure:

Earlier, a patient would visit the nearest surgeon, a family doctor or rely on word of mouth. Thus, reputation management for doctors at that time was all about creating goodwill amongst patients visiting the clinic or hospital. Branding was limited to a specific locality.

Today

  • More educative:

Today, a lot has changed. The way patient approach a surgeon is different. The current trends in healthcare have become more advanced. Patients are now aware of the diseases, symptoms and the probable remedies. What made them smarter? Their exposure to the most convenient medium called ‘The Internet.' The amount of information available on the internet is enough to influence the patient to select a surgeon or hospital that he feels suitable for the treatment.

  • More exposure:

The way it has helped to educate a patient, the internet has also helped the hospitals and surgeons to break the shackles of limited exposure. Today, every hospital around the world is readily available with information on the internet. Social media & online forums have enabled patients to share their feedback about the physician or hospital on a broader level. Today, there’s nothing like local in the healthcare industry. Every single thing, good or bad, comes out as news on a global scale.

Main influencers in the decision process

  • As the process of finding a clinic, a hospital or a physician has become advanced. The decision-making process, especially for important surgeries, has become longer. As per data from the last two years, feedbacks or reviews continue the first position in the list of influencers in the decision-making process.

    Whenever a patient undergoes surgery, many emotions are connected to him. Sometimes a patient can recover with the help of surgery; sometimes he cannot. Whatever the result, relatives that are emotionally connected with the patient are bound to express their thoughts about the treatment & healthcare professional. If you succeed, they would like to express their gratitude through the reviews. If you don’t succeed then relatives or patient will clearly express their distressed feelings in reviews. Therefore, online reviews matter a lot, especially when you wish to be found online in the list of top performing clinics, hospitals or physicians.

  • There are numerous aspects that patients will comment on, starting with a surgeon’s profile, diagnosing capability, advanced technologies, and facilities available, cleanliness, accessibility, etc. The time of responding to a patient’s query is also an essential part of the decision making process.

  • The impact

Since the online exposure was limited in the past, patient feedbacks did not have a high impact on a hospital’s or surgeon’s brand image. However, that has changed over a period. Today, it takes a few minutes to spread the word or news & rumors to go ‘viral,' with the help of social platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. With global exposure, even one or two negative feedback(s) will severely affect a hospital’s or a surgeon’s reputation. Online patient feedback has been one of the major issues in healthcare. As a result, healthcare professionals need to be extra careful when performing services.

Who comes under the reviewer's radar?

Online reviews and reputation management has become a challenge for most of the hospitals and the healthcare professionals. Especially, for those hospitals or surgeons who are specialists in the fields that are directly connected to a patient’s life or physical loss.

Reviews matter the most for surgeries with a longer decision-making process. These often include:

  • Cancer surgeries
  • Transplants
  • Cardiac surgeries
  • Bariatric surgeries
  • Weight Loss Programs

Key takeaways

With so much information being shared across so many channels and avenues online, it is essential to stay updated with the most current issues; more so for the medical practitioners and services providers. Going with the current situation, the significant challenge for hospitals and healthcare practitioners is online reputation management. A single negative comment equals ten positive comments while finding the best physician or surgeon. However, the solution to every challenge is the challenge itself!

 Statistics for managing online reputation

Sam

About The Author Sam

Sam is the president at Lore Digital Marketing focused on growth strategies, brand building and inbound marketing excellence for clients across industries. He is HubSpot certified inbound marketer, business leader, and MarTech adviser. Sam is passionate about developing and implementing strategies using effective marketing tools that impact marketing & sales, improve ROI and create inspiring brands.