Simon Sikorski, CEO Healthcare Marketing Centre of Excellence
Healthcare Marketing Center of Excellence has been at the forefront of managing doctors’ reputations and creating powerful online presence for physicians since 2002. I recently published 12 case studies from May and June 2012 on how important a doctor’s online reputation really is. Here’s an outline of what every physician and administrator should know and do frequently:
Google Your Name
Doctors don’t need to be at the mercy of Google and the countless Physician-Review sites. But if you don’t Google your name, how will you know what’s being said about you? At this point you will encounter at least 10 pages of random reviews and statistics about your practice. If you see even one bad review, or dissatisfying statistics please note: that is exactly what the public is seeing. Why should you care?
In the 12 case studies we published we identified a very compelling statistic: 100% of cash-paying (out-of-network, elective services, fee-for-service) patients Googled their doctors before scheduling their first appointment. Eighty percent of them disqualified a potential doctor based on one negative review before moving onto the next.
Are doctor-review sites fair?
No. Here’s why:
- Up until now, there has been no technology that verifies patient reviews as true and valid. Anyone, including you could write a review.
- These sites are NOT in the business of helping doctors. If they were, would they allow for un-verified reviews to be ever posted? Would they update doctors’ listings with their true expertise, address, and a link to their website? Would they keep patient reviews from 4 years ago? No, instead they’re trying to take control of your reputation away from doctors. They’re in the business of owning your name.
The importance of Patient Feedback (and customer service)
What are the two most feared actions a doctor’s practice could face? Malpractice or a Bad Review. What is the #1 most common reason for both? Lack of timely response to a patient’s complaint. This is the patient that will give you one chance to rectify the issue.
What is the #2 most common reason for both? Dismissing the patient’s complaint. If they can’t afford a lawyer, this is the patient that will go online to write nasty reviews about you in every case, and they do not fear disclosing the full details of their experience, including their name. Such reviews carry significant repercussions: in the 12 case studies we published there was one case like that for a medical spa where the end result was cancellations of appointments.
What if you had the chance to ask for EVERY patient’s feedback? What if all the negative reviews and concerns were sent to your attention in real-time, as they happen, before they’re published?
Impact of Doctor Reviews on Hospital/Practice Brands
Another very moving statistic was the impact doctors’ reputations have on brand recognition of their practices and hospitals. Despite tens of thousands of advertising dollars to promote a brand, a hospital was closing its doors as a local ASC was out-competing them. Oddly enough, the ASC was spending less than $2000 on brand advertising, but all 20 doctors had stellar online reputations. It took only 5 weeks to save the hospital and improve case volumes – 100 percent due to improving their doctors’ visibility for their expertise and their reputations.
Where to start?
Google your name and be proactive from there...
Simon Sikorski is the CEO of Healthcare Marketing Center of Excellence in New Jersey. His company has been working with doctors to manage their reputations and help them become the most trusted source of medical information since 2002. Their new technology helps gather patient reviews, verify them with their patented process, manage negative feedback, and dominate online presence with highly effective SEO strategy, all under one platform. You can review the 12 case studies and contact him directly via http://www.HealthcareMarketingCOE.com