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Cultivate and Protect Your Good Reputation

How Do You Strategically Manage Your Reputation?

Your primary asset is your reputation. Although physicians spend many years cultivating their good name and brand equity, many invest little time and effort strategically managing it.

Leaving your professional reputation to happenstance, however, can be costly especially in this digital social-media age.

There are so many things that can impact a physician’s reputation and that of its practice throughout the customer/patient journey. It can be quite daunting when you consider how much trust you place in your front desk personnel to handle patients with the proper care, empathy and patience, and operate systematically and efficiently.

Like all aspects of a medical practice – from the front desk to clinical care and revenue cycle management – the relationship cultivated with patients is critical today as online reviews often dictate which doctor a new patient will choose.

Did you know that a whopping 94 percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians?

Smartphones, Google, Facebook and prevalent healthcare-specific rating sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, RateMDs and ZocDoc, to name a few, have dramatically altered how patients interact with medical practices and doctors, which has only increased during the pandemic. In many ways, the power and transparency social channels and review sites offer have also democratized the patient-doctor relationship.

In this month’s guide, “Cultivate and Protect Your Good Reputation,” we explore all areas of the patient journey that can positively or negatively affect your reputation and the reputation of your practice. The process begins with a healthy dose of self-assessment and “social listening.” Before you can manage your online reputation, you must first find out what it is.

Importantly, a medical practice’s online reputation is not the sole responsibility of the physicians and supporting medical staff who provide clinical care. The patient experience begins at the front desk when they pick up the phone or go online to schedule an appointment, and ends with the front desk when they receive all follow-up information and next steps for referrals, schedule the next appointment, answer final questions and conclude their visit.

This month’s guide will walk you through the importance of front desk first and last impressions, and how to improve them, as well as ways to optimize your service to improve your online reviews and scores. Should you manage your social reputation internally or outsource it to a third-party? Does your EHR system offer reputation management assessment, tracking and reporting?

We answer these questions and more in this month’s guide, and offer reputation management best practices as well. We also explore how to professionally handle those gut-wrenching negative reviews, and transform them into learning and teaching moments for everyone in the practice.