Greater than 75% of patients look up their Physician before making an appointment. While information such as location, and accepted insurance can be very important, other issues such as reputation, and other patient comments can have a significant effect on the desire to make an appointment.
As a Physician, do you want control over what the internet says about you?
Doctor, do you want to know if the information pushed is accurate?
Of course, the answer is yes. But, there is always the But.
“But, I do not think the internet really effects my practice”.
“But, I do not have time to manage all that”.
To the first “But”, we know that may have been true 5 years ago. Now, internet use is almost the standard in searching for information. If you do not think so, when is the last time you actually opened up a Yellow Pages to find a phone number or location?
In addition, there are so many sites that are used to categorize and identify Doctors, as well as their reputations. These sites will use available information, and consolidate your name, practice, specialty, location, and contact information. Unfortunately, unless you actually log into these sites, there is no way to confirm the accuracy of the information. If 75% of the patients are looking online to find your information, someone needs to make sure that information is accurate. That someone should be You, or your staff.
For the second “But”, everyone agrees it will take time to sort through the various sites, and to correct the information. Like most Physician’s offices, most of the staff is already over-worked, or frankly, does not want to assume more responsibility. Getting the information right is very important, especially if you now agree that the first “But” was wrong. If the internet is effecting your practice ( and I submit, it is), then you will need to make the time to manage your Online Presence, or find someone who will.
Just so it is clear, controlling your Online Presence can be as simple as correcting the phone numbers and addresses on the various Physician Reputation sites, to developing a Website, and initiating Reputation Management. Each of these facets do take time, energy and expertise.
If you have not had the discussion about your Online Presence with your Staff, please do. There are many Website/SEO/Social Media companies out there that you can consult. Please find one that you can trust, and learn about the various options. In the Field of Medicine, Physicians feel as if they have lost some control. You can get back some of that control by shaping your Online Presence.