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Online Reputation Management: Trending Topic or Industry Shift?

Posted on December 20, 2016 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Erica Johansen (@thegr8chalupa).

It seems that in healthcare this year online reputation management has taken center stage in conversations as consumers have a larger voice in the healthcare purchasing experience. Reviews, in particular, provide an interesting intersection point between social media technology and healthcare service. It is no surprise that there is pervasive, and exciting, conversation around this topic across the industry at conferences and online.

During the #HITsm chat on Friday, we had an excellent conversation about the value of online reputation management by physicians and other healthcare providers, and what lessons could be learned from one managing their own reputation online. During our chat, we asked the #HITsm community (as patients) about their behavior leaving and reading reviews as a part of their care selection process, as well as the role that social technology plays today in the patient experience. There were some exceptional insights during our conversation:

1. Should providers be interested in their online reputation? Does it matter? There was a resounding “yes” among attendees that attention should be given to a practice’s online brand.

2. As a patient, have you ever read a review after being referred to, or before selecting, a new physician? Perhaps unsuprisingly, most attendees supported trends in consumer behavior by reading reviews of physicians online.

3. Have you ever written an online review for a healthcare experience? If so, was it generally positive or negative? Suprisingly, the perspective of our attendees suggested that the consumption of reviews was more common than the creation of them. Most folks just won’t review unless they felt compelled by an experience that surpassed,or fell too short, of expectations.

4. Is there an expectation that providers (individual and/or organizational) respond to social media engagements by patients? Our attendees chimed in that maybe it isn’t so much that there is an expectation, but it could signifantly help a negative review or solidify a positive one.

5. What would a healthcare provider who is exceptional at managing their online reputation look like? Examples? Stellar examples shared illustrated folks that have harnessed the power of social media to augment their patient expierence and brand. For example:

Bonus. What lessons could be learned from managing your personal online reputation that could guide provider reputation management? This question took a different turn than I initially anticipated, however, for the better. Many insights shared included mentions to social platforms and meeting the patients where they are. There is so much opportunity for the next phase of healthcare social media as platforms begin to cater more to feature requests and uses based on consumer trends. (One great example of this is the Buy/Sell feature added to Facebook Groups.)

Additional thoughts? There were some flavorful insights shared during the chat that are worth an honorable mention. Enjoy these as “food for thought” until our next #HITsm chat!

I’d like to say a big “thank you” to all who participated in the last #HITsm chat (and are catching up after the fact)! You can view a recap of these tweets and the entire conversation here.

#HITsm will take a break for the next two weeks over the holidays, but we will resume in 2017 on Friday, January 6th with a headlining host Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) and the @CMSGov team (@AislingMcDL, @JessPKahn, @AndreyOstrovsky, @N_Brennan, @LisaBari, and @ThomasNOV).

Reputation Management – Doctors and Health IT Professionals

Posted on August 5, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and 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?