Online reputation management for healthcare practices.
It’s a New Year! It’s time to get back to working out, eating healthy, and going to the doctor for that long-overdue checkup.
72% of patients say their first step in finding a new medical practice is checking online reviews. Depending upon what a patient finds directly impacts their decision to make an appointment. Healthcare practices have reported seeing as large as one-third drop-in visits and calls after negative media coverage.
First things first, Google search for your medical practice accepting new patients, following COVID-19 protocols, and has many 5-star ratings. Do you like what you read? Will patients and families?
Consumers are more empowered and internet-savvy when it comes to anything having to do with being online. After being quarantined for much of 2020, consumers had to adjust to working from home, meeting over the video, and children learning online. Pandemic purchasing skyrocketed with the ability to order food delivery and groceries online. Consumer behaviors have changed online, and patients have also adapted.
Perception is reality, especially when it comes to social media and your medical practice’s online reputation. Review sites are everywhere. Everyone is online and if your medical practice doesn’t have reviews or the reviews aren’t positive – patients won’t come.
The Washington Post wrote an article about Yelp allowing ProPublica access to its more than 1.7 million reviews to run its software to locate potentially harmful responses to reviews by medical practices mentioning privacy or HIPAA. ProPublica also revealed that most of the bad reviews were about wait times, office staff, or billing.
Stitching up a bad online reputation begins with five easy steps:
- Just like an ignored garden, if you don’t pay attention to your reputation, it’ll continue to grow – whether you take care of it or not. Check your online reputation daily, respond to negative and positive reviews and post exciting reads on your social media channels.
- What’s online will be considered truth. Continually work on obtaining patient recommendations and testimonials to build your online reputation and create vital value with your patient relationships.
- Once it’s online, it’s always online. While you may not get that one negative review to go away, pile on those positive reviews.
- Set a Google alert for your practice. You can receive daily alerts when someone mentions you or your practice’s name. Respond to what you find promptly.
- Don’t panic, get angry, threaten or violate HIPAA with your responses. Fighting fire with fire never solved anything. Remember the Manhattan dentist that sued multiple Yelp reviewers for their negative reviews? He didn’t win either.
Rule of Thumb: Consider hiring a 3rd party that specializes in managing online reputations to respond to your reviews, especially the negative ones. It is nearly impossible not to take a negative review as a personal attack and not react in the same manner. While patients can review your practice, you can’t review patients in the same way.
Digital Air Strike understands that your medical practice values patient care, and we love improving online reputations. We know that it can be challenging to deal with reviews, so let us manage your online reputation while you manage your practice and focus on patient care.
Digital Air Strike is currently offering a free intel report or “audit” of your online reputation. We will find out what your online reputation looks like and provide tips to protect and improve it.
“Our business sleeps easier knowing that Digital Air Strike is on the digital watchtower, quickly alerting us of incoming attacks on our reputation. They also develop great content, upload videos to YouTube and literally everything else we’ve ever asked of them!”
– Laura M., director, reputation management