Why Physicians Need An Online Presence

Why Physicians Need An Online Presence

“He made me wait way too long, and then I felt rushed.”

I discovered this negative review, now several years old, when I recently Googled myself.

No glowing comments about the time I paid a late-night visit to an inpatient who had taken a turn for the worse. Nothing about the patient I asked to come to the office on a Sunday afternoon for stitches to save them hours of waiting in the ER. Not a single mention about the time I spent with the family of a dying patient.
Imagine someone saying telling a friend: “Oh, yes, go see Dr. Geraci, he’s wonderful.” And then imagine that friend doing an online search and finding one review.

“He made me wait way too long, and then I felt rushed.”

Would you still come?

Have you Googled yourself?

You know the statistics about good and bad reviews and their effect. That is why you need an online presence.

You need to counter the bad with the good. Give your patients a chance to write good things, and encourage them to do it.

A negative review can be buried and lost in a flood of good reviews. And a trend toward bad reviews may highlight a negative trend in how your staff or your recent behavior is affecting the impression you leave.

A specialist physician in a small town asked me how he could compete with a large health system affiliated with the local hospital. He was worried that all his referrals would disappear into the large health system’s diverse availability of specialists.

I asked him about his quality of care, about whether he was following the literature in his specialty, and whether he was known outside his town for his skills. Then I asked how many people beside himself knew all that? If a patient searched for his specialty, would they find a website talking about all these things?

You need an online presence to compete. What is the quality of care in your practice? Do you excel at taking care of diabetes? Do you have a special interest you would like to see more patients with?

You need an online presence to promote yourself and bring patients to you. Are you as busy as you need or want to be? Is your staff stretched to the limit with the daily rush of work and phone calls and scheduling? How many calls a day do you get during which your staff tells patients you are not accepting new patients?

You need an online presence to alleviate some phone calls and use resources like online scheduling to provide relief to your staff.

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