In the world of healthcare, reputation is everything.
After all, roughly 75% of your potential patients will look at reviews before choosing a provider.
It can take years to build a positive reputation, and just one negative incident can destroy it in a heartbeat. If you want to maintain a successful practice, you need to take reputation management very seriously.
Get started by taking these three tips into consideration.
1. Communication, communication, communication
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful healthcare practice. Patients want to feel heard and understood by their healthcare providers, and failure to communicate can quickly lead to negative reviews and a damaged reputation.
One way to improve communication with patients is to set clear expectations from the outset. Make sure your patients understand what to expect during their visit, including wait times, the purpose of the visit, and any procedures that may be required. Use simple language and avoid medical jargon that may be confusing to patients.
It’s also essential to actively listen to your patients. Encourage them to ask questions and express any concerns they may have. Show empathy and understanding, even if their concerns may seem trivial or insignificant.
Finally, follow up with your patients after their visit to ensure they are satisfied with their care. This can be as simple as a phone call or email, and it shows your patients that you care about their well-being. During this follow up, if they express a positive experience, ask them to leave a review or testimonial. Make sure these instructions are just as clear and simple as your healthcare instructions so that they don’t get frustrated and give up or forget.
When they do leave a review, make sure to respond to it–whether it’s positive or negative. This will help potential clients/patients see how much you truly value them.
2. Enhance quality of care
Providing high-quality care is critical to maintaining a positive reputation in the healthcare industry. Patients expect to receive the best possible care when they visit a healthcare provider, and failure to meet these expectations can quickly lead to negative reviews and a damaged reputation.
To ensure a high quality of care, healthcare providers should stay up-to-date with the latest medical research and technologies. This includes attending continuing education courses, staying informed about the latest treatments and medications, and investing in new medical equipment.
In addition to providing high-quality care, healthcare providers should also prioritize patient safety. This means following proper infection control protocols, using proper hygiene practices, and maintaining a clean and safe environment for patients.
3. Make room in your marketing budget
Without the proper budgeting and planning, your reputation management won’t be viewed as a part of your marketing strategy and will lack the attention needed to be successful.
Whether you invest in an automated review platform or hire new personnel to manage it, by incorporating reputation management into your plan from the beginning, your team will know the steps necessary to improve practice and provider reputation (e.g., managing your Google Business Profile, requesting reviews from customers/patients, sending surveys), along with how and when to implement them.
As a healthcare provider, it’s easy to avoid feedback solicitation not only due to fear of negative reviews, but also due to a fear of HIPAA. However, negative reviews can help you identify weak spots, and as long as you don’t give out any PHI or confirm or deny that they saw you, you’ll be in good standing with HIPAA.
For example, if someone leaves a positive review, responding with something like, “Thank you! We appreciate your feedback” doesn’t confirm or deny that they are a patient of yours, nor does it give away any PHI.
When responding to a negative review, we recommend responding with something along the lines of, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Due to HIPAA patient privacy rules, we cannot reply online. Please call 555-555-5555 and our customer service team will be able to support you.”
In conclusion, reputation management is critical for healthcare providers. Effective communication, quality of care, and making room in your budget are the three keys to maintaining a positive reputation in the healthcare industry. By prioritizing these areas, healthcare providers can build a strong reputation and ensure the long-term success of their practice.
At Bizzuka, we teach healthcare providers just like you how to improve and implement reputation management in the Calibrate phase of our 6-step OPTICS ™ framework. By joining the OPTICS ™ Accelerator digital marketing course, you’ll gain access to a group of like-minded professionals who are also struggling to grow their practice and learn how to fix the biggest blind spots that are killing the effectiveness of your internal healthcare marketing team.