Managing Medical Practice Online Reputations

October 25, 2012


Medical Practice Online Reputations

Medical Practice Online Reputations

Do you know your online reputation? Are you sure? Rumors and accusations spread rapidly over the Internet. Years of building up your medical practice can go sour overnight through anonymous consumer service review sites or social media. Hiring physician reputation management services is one way to perform damage control, but there are steps medical professionals can take by themselves.

Keeping Track of What’s Being Said About You

The American Medical Association recommends that doctors take the time to Google themselves at least once a month in order to keep track of their reputation. Set up news alerts for your name and your practice’s name with major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Use as many variations of your name as possible.

The good news is that patients are more likely to praise their doctors than criticize them. If there is negative news about your name or your practice, take steps as soon as possible in order to counteract the damage. Don’t immediately threaten to bring any legal action to the author of any criticism. This makes you look bad to readers for, as Shakespeare pointed out in Macbeth, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Responding to False Information

Replying to unwarranted accusations or false information require tact. Use the same professional manner online as you would face to face. Gently correct honest mistakes such as when a person mixes your name up with another doctor. You also need to make sure your practice’s contact information is up to date, especially if you have recently changed practices. Often a quick email to the webmaster will fix that.

Some people take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet to spout venom. Check the Terms and Conditions of the particular website that a person is posting on. There usually is a tab or button at the home page that says “Terms and Conditions” but sometimes says “T and C.” If the poster is clearly in violation of the Terms and Conditions, contact the webmaster.

Invest in Your Own Domain

Your name is your brand. In order to protect your brand name, do what major businesses do and purchase your own domain name for your own website. If your name has already been taken, try a variation of your name. A good online reputation management company can quickly come up with many alternatives for your website.

They can also help you with your own website to present positive, truthful information online. Be sure to include your education, any special awards you have won and any publications in which you have been published or quoted. This will help legitimatize you in the eyes of readers and potential patients.

Managing Medical Practice Online Reputations

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
Medical Practice

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