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The Importance of Online Physician Reputation Management

Quite possibly the most important thing a doctor can have is a good reputation. It can be the deciding factor for many potential patients, according to popular healthcare blog KevinMD.com, founded by techie primary care physician Dr. Kevin Pho. Dr. Pho is also a co-author of the recently released book Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation.

A recent Pew Internet study shows that 44 percent of patients are researching their doctor online prior to committing to them as a physician.

Pho suggests doctors Google themselves once a week so that they can see what is online and what patients will find when they search for the doctor online.

As a physician having an Internet presence is important, but having control of that presence is imperative. There are a number of ways to do that.

Have a Website: If a patient searches for you or your practice and the only thing that comes up is a third party review site you run the risk of the patient getting incorrect information about the practice, or even worse, negative reviews. Having a professional medical website gives potential patients a view into what a practice is all about, as well as offers relevant and useful information.

Get Social: Social-media savvy doctors can effectively communicate with their existing patients, as well as with potential patients. Having complete control over the way you are portrayed as a doctor and how your practice is portrayed is important, but even more so is being able to engage patients on a personal level. Good reputation points go through the roof for a doctor who connects with patients via Facebook, Twitter or Google +.

Set Up a Google Alert: A simple way to monitor what is being said about you and your practice online is to set up a Google alert for your name, or the practice name. This way whenever your name or practice name is mentioned online an email will be sent to you.

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