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?