Some physicians are hesitant when considering social media for marketing their practice and patient interactions as they feel it may shift their focus from their primary role of healing patients. Statistics say that nearly 80 percent of US adults use the Internet and approximately 60 percent belong to at least one networking site. Despite being aware of the widespread use of social media by patients, there still are many physicians who are reluctant to embrace it. By choice they opt not to have a website or an online presence and even chose to turn a blind eye to what is said about them on various review sites and social media platforms.
To not have a digital presence in this digital era simply means shutting your doors to countless opportunities for growth. Opportunities brought by online platforms represent a new frontier in medicine as they enable physicians and patients to be more connected. Digital platforms and social media have made it possible for healthcare providers to educate their patients, be available for them for any communication, share their expertise and generate new appointments while making their practice more visible to those who need their services.
On the other hand, if you don’t have an online presence, you are definitely missing out on a chance to build an online brand and to humanize your practice. In Nielsen’s Advertising study, 70 percent of global consumers specified they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions. What people say about you and how they perceive you online has become a prism through which your reputation is reflected. Your online presence will increase your online visibility, which will let patients know about you and your practice and has now become a crucial defining factor for attracting new patients. Patients thoroughly analyze their options online before booking an appointment and if you don’t have an online presence, patients will chose someone who is proactive online.
Per Pew Research Center, about one in three American adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition. These soaring numbers clearly demonstrate that patients have taken responsibility for their health and the decisions that affect it. As a physician, you have the moral responsibility of providing accurate health information to people so that they can lead healthier lives. Digital media and social media provide excellent platforms that teach anyone and everyone around the globe who wants to learn about their health condition or disease. Social media can be a partner in your goal of providing the best healthcare treatments where you can directly interact with patients and empower them to make better health decisions. In contrast, if you don’t have an online presence, you can only share your knowledge with patients you interact with inside the four walls of your practice.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Digital and social media are considered high-value interactive platforms by industry experts as physician patient communication is faster and easier. If you haven’t embraced digital yet, you’re missing an opportunity to improve the operational efficiency of your practice. Physicians and healthcare providers should consider these channels as an opportunity for growth. Negative feedback by patients gives insight into the patient mind-set and what they expect out of the services at your practice. You can address the issues and take corrective measures before they become routine.
Maintaining an online reputation is also a way of setting realistic expectations for patients before they visit you. It’s like your “digital guidebook” that describes you and the services offered at your practice. If managed proactively, a physician’s online reputation can pay off big – both in the short and long run. So, embrace it by developing a strong online reputation today for a better practice tomorrow.