Today, we are increasingly connected online, and we use the internet to further our connections. In fact, Yelp says that more than 85% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses. Nearly 77% of Americans own smartphones, and they are using them to look for healthcare services.
That is why you want to ensure that your practice shines online. Managing your practice’s online reputation gives you the knowledge and the power to celebrate the good, clear up any misunderstandings, and fix the bad.
Many practices aren’t aware that they have online listings on the physician search and rating sites. These sites use the physician blue book and other sources to populate their pages. Most will allow you to own your information and make updates. Some offer more advanced features, such as online ads, for a fee. In addition, there are sites that provide helpful tools like text reminders and 24/7 online scheduling, while offering patients the opportunity to find a provider or leave a review.
To manage your online listings, find and own every listing that you can. Make sure all the information about your practice and providers are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. You’ll want to add your website and social pages wherever possible. Some sites require the physician to approve changes and may even ask for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) to verify that the physician is really signing off on the changes.
To find sites where you are listed:
- Conduct online searches, such as with Google, several times over the course of 2 to 4 weeks. Once you’ve collected these sites, go to each one and follow the instructions to confirm the listing information or make any changes.
- Don’t forget about payer directories, medical societies, and patient communities. You might already have listings that should be updated or you may want to add one. For example, if you are a rheumatologist, consider listing your practice with local, regional, and national resources for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Accurate listings help improve your rankings on search engines, which, in turn, raises your placement in online searches. Taking ownership of your listings is about more than accuracy, it’s about visibility and credibility.
For information about how practice marketing from Quest Diagnostics can help you manage your online reputation, contact us at 1.888.491.7900, or read our white paper, “4 steps to better attract and connect with patients.”