Proactive Reputation Management for Doctors and Medical Practices

Online reputation management is becoming very important in the healthcare sector. Doctor reviews in sites like ZocDoc.com or RateMDs.com will help patients choose the best practice to register with. It is important for them to determine who has the most qualified staff, the best service from receptionist and the least waiting times. Bad reviews lead to people to check for a different practice in the area. Here are some tips to avoid those negative reviews and get more patients.

Here are some proactive reputation management solutions which can be implemented now within your medical practice. These have also been found to be the primary source of negative reviews or articles on doctors.

Have a Good Bedside Manner

Patients don’t want to have a doctor who is going to argue with them about everything. They want a doctor who understands their thoughts, their feelings and even their fears. For some, visiting a doctor is a scary experience. For others, just being ill is difficult, especially if they have a life-threatening condition or have had one in the past.

Having a dismissive attitude is another reason for negative feedback. It is important to be polite to your patients, no matter what they say to you. Some will come up with irrelevant information while others may withhold information not really thinking it to be relevant. If you’re understanding and caring, patients will refer you to others.

Show Your Knowledge or Experience

Patients expect the best care when visiting the doctor. They want a doctor who knows his subject without having to google for information. A lack of experience or knowledge are common issues so prove that you have them. However, watch out! There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

Reputation is a result of service

It is not just the doctors who need to offer good care and attention. The whole practice needs to be suitable, especially the receptionists, nurses and other members of staff. Incompetent or rude receptionists are among the most common problems for patients—not the doctors! Make sure all your staff are trained to the best ability and will be able to help patients.

Errors can happen, whether they are technical, billing or something else. It is important to take accountability for the errors and get them solved as quickly as possible. Most patients really do understand as long as you are willing to admit that you are in the wrong, apologise and then get to work fixing them.

You can limit the number of bad reviews by making your patients happy. Remember that they must always come first. Spend the time with them and listen to their problems. At the same time, make sure all your staff offer the best experience.

Reputation threats

Sometimes, offering a top notch service and providing the best care to patients is not enough to avoid negative doctor reviews: illegal postings, false claims on the professional behaviour of doctors are quite common. In these cases, a targeted reputation management service might be needed to eliminate unwanted search results (nowadays they are your business card) and restore one’s online professional image.

Dan Virgillito

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