The internet has become an increasingly prevalent tool for people to communicate their thoughts on current or past experiences. The effect of this on the medical field is one of great significance to physicians who can inevitably be effected by the positive and negative feedback posted by their patients.
Even the most skilled and qualified physicians can come across a dissatisfied patient. It is also no surprise that it is this type of patient who tends to resort to the internet to express their discontent, as opposed to the large amount of satisfied patients. Unfortunately, this opens up the likelihood that that a skewed representation of the physicians abilities will be open to the public’s view online, resulting in potential patients opting for other physicians as well as current patients being lost.
Fortunately, physicians can be proactive and combat this prevalent issue with a relatively new resource known as Reputation Management. This is the process of monitoring, addressing or mitigating SERPs (search engine result pages) or mentions in online and social media. The main goal is to offset the potential harmful effects of the negative postings by creating a substantial inflow of positive content, throughout the main social and medical network sites including Facebook, Twitter, Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com, among others.
When 70% of new patients are currently utilizing Google to research a physician’s name and in turn landing on these various sites, it is imperative that a positive campaign be launched to assure their name is seen in an accurate light.
Updated: October 4, 2011