Online reputation can have career implications for physicians

While we have seen a continued increase of online activity in the healthcare space over the past few years, I don’t think we are even scratching the surface of what’s to come.

Aside from consumer driven trends on the web, cloud computing is having a dramatic impact on the business enterprise environment and healthcare is next. All this points in one direction for doctors: your online reputation may become as or more important than your offline reputation. It stands to reason that physicians in elective fields probably have a bit more at stake, but one’s online reputation can have a myriad of career implications for all.

More important? Yes, the reach of the web is far greater than word of mouth.

Don’t mistake my comments to mean I advocate physicians need get absorbed in web hype … and there is plenty. Rather, pay pro-active attention to your online reputation and the building thereof. Despite even the most judicious oversight however, getting a “ding” is easier than ever. While most sites will correct factual mistakes it’s not always simple or quick.

Also, negative reviews by patients are not likely going to get removed unless they cross some boundary the site in question deems inappropriate. In those cases, the only recourse is to develop enough positive press to effectively bury the negative press. There is nothing wrong with asking pleased patients to write a little review for you. A steady stream of positive comments puts you far ahead of the game.

To help with the reactive side of reputation management, this article from American Medical News is helpful: Negative online reviews leave doctors with little recourse.

Tobin Arthur is CEO and founder of iMedExchange and blogs at his self-titled site, Tobin Arthur.

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