Traditionally, healthcare organisations have seen a high degree of patient loyalty. Practitioners build up their practices over the course of a career, with family lines and locality often being a large factor when it comes to patient choice, especially in the case of GPs and suchlike.
Now things are changing, and practitioners may ask themselves the question of why, when they have adhered to the same high standards of professionalism, are they seeing the stunted growth of their new patient inflow? The answer often lies online, and in the new ways in which prospective patients are able to access, and research, doctor credentials on the internet.
That means social media channels, as well as the range of medical specific forums and online communities such as Doctify, Doctoralia, Mumsnet, Realself, Healthunlocked, Iwantgreatcare and others. Particularly if a patient intends to be treated privately, online reviews can often be make-or-break, so there has never been a more pressing time to manage your online reputation and ensure patients are able to see positive information pertaining to your practice on the net.
While as a healthcare professional, you are accustomed to having control of many elements of your daily work, social bookmarking is one area in which professionals from many sectors are powerless to manage. This is the organic formation of content around the web on social media posts, blogs and forums. For this reason, taking a positive stance and embracing content such as Google business reviews can lead to benefit for your practice’s online reputation. The world’s number one search engine, Google, places a high value on word of mouth referrals online, and you should too.
A new era
It’s not just the ever growing number of online outlets which facilitate patient reviews that have made this a new era for healthcare reputation. We have also seen the introduction of the now obligatory collection of clinical outcome data through the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) which provide added data transparency, including the metrics of doctors’ clinical performance.
More harm than good
In healthcare, the impact of negative reviews can be more powerful than those which are positive in their nature. The same goes for news stories which may reflect badly on a practice. Archiving on media platforms means this content often remains visible online long after a practice has been cleared of any wrong-doing. Are you willing to accept inaccurate stories being accessible to your prospective patients, with potentially harmful long-term consequences?
The reputation management solution healthcare has been waiting for
Medico Digital can help doctors to remove negative online stories from Google. Even if we encounter initial resistance, our legal knowledge base and experience in dealing with online media and social platforms means we won’t take no for an answer! We offer a submission service to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which has rights to overturn Google’s decision and order them to remove all negative press articles.
Need more information? Contact us and speak to a member of our friendly team today.