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Doctors: How to manage your online presence

Published on: Jun 20, 2019


Managed properly, your online presence could be an efficient channel for attracting new patients.

A 2019 survey from Software Advice revealed that 94% of patients read online reviews to evaluate physicians, and 72% use reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. Additionally, 48% of patients say they would go outside of their insurance network for a provider with favorable reviews.




Keep compliance in mind when responding to reviews

Monitoring your online reviews is an essential piece of online reputation management. It is especially important to find and respond to negative reviews. In fact, 70% of surveyed patients believe it is important for providers to respond publicly to reviews and address complaints head on.

However, when you reply to reviews in a public space, you must maintain compliance with HIPAA laws. In other words, you cannot speak directly about specific treatments or anything that might identify the patient. If you would like to discuss the review with the patient, take some time to collect your thoughts and then message the person in private.





Keep HIPAA compliance in mind when responding to online reviews.Keep HIPAA compliance in mind when responding to online reviews.





Maintain a simple website with key information

What's the first thing that appears when someone searches for your name or practice? Is it a review site? A profile page on a hospital website? How do the top results align with how you wish patients would learn about you?

A great way to maintain control over your online presence is to set up a simple website with your name as the web domain. You can use this site to create a biography that covers your skills, experience and achievements. Plus, this site can give patients a direct way to communicate with you.







Demonstrate your thought leadership

Digital content is an essential physician marketing tool because it can promote your unique specializations, research and experience. For example, you could create a blog on your website where you write about recent trends and current issues. If you don't want to maintain a blog, you could also reach out to other sites and offer to write guest articles.

Another option is to answer questions on sites like Quora. Users can "upvote" helpful answers, which will become more prominent, even appearing in search results on Google. This can be a great channel for growing your thought leadership credentials.

Beyond attracting new patients, online reputation management can be a useful job hunting tool. A well-maintained online presence will help recruiters find you and determine if you're a good fit for their organization.

Sign up for free job alerts from to take the next step in your medical career. Managed properly, your online presence could be an efficient channel for attracting new patients.