Online Reputation Management for Physicians: What Office Managers Should Know
Physicians are very fortunate to have office managers. While the doctor maintains the medical prowess of a practice, the office manager administers everything else and is available to troubleshoot any situation as it arises. In other words, the doctor concerns him or herself with the needs of the patients and the office manager cares for the practice and administrative needs of the doctor. Over time, the role of the office manager has expanded to complete business and marketing oversight of the practice, including online reputation management.
Thus, an office manager is as responsible for the online reputations of the their doctors and, by relation, their practices.
So, to the ultimate Jack-Of-All-Trades, here are some online reputation management essentials for Office Managers:
1. Get Buy-In From The Doctor.
A doctor’s reputation is everything. Would you visit a doctor you didn’t trust? Of course not! You’d just continue searching until you found one you had confidence in. Not surprisingly, this is what most people do when they find a doctor with a bad reputation (i.e. bad word of mouth or, these days, negative online reviews).
So the first step is helping the doctor understand that the Internet has changed their business. In the past, patients referred friends and family to doctors, and that was how you built a practice. These days, even those same friends and family look online to learn more about the doctor, so a bad online reputation or a few negative reviews can be detrimental to the practice.
2. Assess The Solutions.
Now you want to protect the Doctor, and you have the support you need. Great! What’s next?
Reliable online healthcare reputation management solutions are custom-built to the needs of your doctor and practice. Consequently, it’s important that you push hard as to why the doctor requires this tool or that program. Most essential is how exactly the doctor will benefit. Never move forward with a one-size-fits-all reputation management program – you and you practice need a custom job. Ask lots and lots of questions, and go with your gut only when the solution makes sense to you.
3. The Internet Is Permanent.
We all know it, thing to live with it is another matter. That painful and personal negative review from that bitter and former patient, staff member, and/or family member will stay with the doctor forever. Review sites never delete reviews, and the damage a negative review does only grows with time as more people see it.
The answer is a comprehensive online healthcare reputation management program that protects the doctor permanently. That means a HIPAA-compliant process to getting reviews and posting them online and a firewall of content you control appearing on the front-page of Google for the Doctor’s name.
These are just the basics of what you need to know. The first step is always the hardest and the most essential. For more information on our online reputation management program for the healthcare industry, please visit our page on healthcare reputation management.