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Reputation Management – Doctors and Health IT Professionals

Posted on August 5, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the challenge of reputation management. In the work I do, reputation management is a really big thing for both doctors and healthcare IT professionals. As part of my Healthcare IT job board and career resources, I wrote about managing your personal brand and the benefits of blogging. Both of them do a good job digging into some of the reasons why and ways you can manage your brand as a healthcare IT professional.

The reality is that many people don’t think of themselves as a brand. Maybe we’re not brands in the purest form, but we all have a profile whether we like it or not. What’s really interesting about the digital age is that our profile, “brand” if you will, is becoming more and more public and much easier for people to find. Plus, the age of social media means that other people are defining your personal brand whether you’re participating in the conversation or not.

Turns out that all of these principles apply to a doctor as well. In fact, there are dozens of companies that are creating online profiles for every doctor out there. They’re gathering hordes of publicly available data about your schooling, your location, your online profiles, your Medicare data, and much much more. Plus, we’re just getting started.

Many of these websites are also asking your patients to rank, rate, and review you. I’ve previously written my thoughts on these ranking and ratings websites. Despite my own views on the lack of value these websites provide, many patients don’t know the difference and so they can be a major driver to or away from your practice.

With all these changes, it’s becoming more and more important that doctors don’t ignore their online reputation. This doesn’t mean that the doctor has to be the one managing their online reputation. Some doctors enjoy doing it and so that’s great. However, this could very well be your office manager or you could even work with an outside company that’s skilled in managing physician’s online reputation. Just be careful on the later that they’re actually doing something to manage your reputation and not just saying they’re doing something.

As in most things in life, this concept isn’t new. We’ve always had to be conscious of what other people saw, said, and thought about us. It’s just the communication tools that people use to spread that information that have changed.

What are you or your organization doing to manage your reputation?

Physician Skills Profile

Posted on February 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I was cruising around LinkedIn and took a second to look at my LinkedIn profile. Turns out I still need to add a few things to my profile. It’s hard to keep up with stuff like that. However, what I found most intriguing was the somewhat recently added Skills section on LinkedIn profiles. I’ve known about them since the beginning, but I hadn’t really looked how skills were being described by other members of the community. In fact, I purposefully tried not to influence people’s recommendations of my skills. I wanted to see which skills they would identify. Here’s what the results are as of today:
LinkedIn Skills Profile
I find the results quite intriguing and I’m happy to say that the people on LinkedIn did a pretty good job profiling and endorsing my skills. The top skills are: Healthcare Information Technology, SEO, Blogging, EMR, and Social Media. That’s a pretty fair representation of my top skills. I live, eat, sleep and breathe those things every day. I am sad that Entrepreneurship wasn’t on the list, but maybe that’s not a skill people think about. I’m surprised that compassionate and caring didn’t make the list either;-)

As I think about that skills profile and the post about Physician Ranking Websites I did on EMR and HIPAA, I wonder if it would be valuable to allow people to endorse physician’s skills. I wonder if any doctor has tried to do this on LinkedIn and what that would look like. I know for example I could endorse my wife’s OB/GYN for a number of things that she did really well.

I like the idea of endorsement rather than ranking or review. In many ways it’s a subtle difference, but it’s an important difference. Besides the fact that the endorsements are simple to do and so there’s a greater chance that you’ll get more people involved, it also avoids some of the flame wars that can occur with physician review sites. Plus, the idea of physician rankings assumes that one is better than another when the fact might be that both doctors are great.

I also love the idea of having someone’s profile linked to their endorsement. This is partially where it can break down in healthcare. Some people with cancer might not want to endorse their oncologist if they haven’t told people they know about their cancer. Not to mention the potential big brother issues.

However, this isn’t the case with many doctors. For example, I don’t know how many times people haven’t asked my wife and I for a recommendation of a pediatrician or primary care doctor. We of course tell them which ones we’ve liked and which ones we didn’t like so much and why. Now imagine you could do something similar across all of your friends and associates.

I’m sure there’s potential for gaming this system and there’s other unintended consequences to this as well. Although, it intrigued me how well my LinkedIn contacts were able to identify my skills. I wonder if something similar could be done with doctors. Maybe Doximity could do something like this, but only doctors would be able to endorse other doctor’s skills. Although, as I said in my article linked above, even many doctors don’t know how good other doctors are. Depends on how often and in what ways they interact with the other doctors.