The media can be absolutely merciless at times and it does not take much for a medical practitioner's reputation to be dragged through the mud. Unfortunately with medical malpractice suits there will often be a push for publicity to garnish sympathy, particularly if it's a high profile case.
The end result can be immensely damaging to the practitioners reputation, regardless of the outcome of the law suit. In the past, there was not much that could be done in the event of a public relations catastrophe and efforts that could be taken to minimise damage often came at great expense.
Patient Reviews and Online Reputation
It's no longer the media alone who are a concern though. With the emergence of the web, information is now more accessible than it has ever been. With that, information on physicians and medical practitioners is widely available. The days of a news report ending up buried deep in library archives are long gone, and in the case of your reputation, time is not going to heal all wounds anymore. Further complicating matters, the growing popularity of websites like Vitals and Yelp can mean that information presented is not 100% accurate either. To make matters worse, patients can post reviews and share comments, opening many practitioners up to unjustified slander.
When you consider that the vast majority of new patients are visiting websites like Vitals and Ratemds.com in advance, then online reputation management has become crucial in the information age. It has now become absolutely vital for medical practitioners to make a concerted effort in managing their online reputation as best they can.
There are a few ways that this can be done, and it's a good idea to have a strategy in place well in advance. There are many companies and specialist firms that provide reputation management services, and this will often encompass quite a comprehensive approach given your expectations and your existing information on the web.
Social media in particular is an area that cannot be neglected anymore. There are so many social media websites where an individual can take a fair amount of control over the information that is presented, and this is something that needs to be taken advantage of. One of the easiest and yet most overlooked options available is to simply ensure that online profiles are correct and accurate on these websites.
Equally important is keep track of online reviews and comments. It's essential for medical practitioners to have a professional ORM company to monitor and analyse information that may be presented on review sites. The best response is always an immediate one and medical professionals need to ensure that their online reputation is always positive. You can't respond to a situation unless you have all of the information and analysis at hand.
Search Engine Optimisation is also worth considering. The major benefit will be the higher rankings your website, social media profiles and web content will receive through the search engines. This will ensure that there is substantially more positive content about you on the web, as most optimisation is done through a process of issuing press releases, biographies, published research and web articles that will link back to your main website and social media profiles. In doing so, not only to you reduce the impact of potential negative publicity, you also take a positive approach in building your reputation
Its best to take a proactive approach from day one, and while it may seem daunting and even a little intimidating at first, effective online reputation management can be used to your advantage.
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