Today’s physicians are practicing medicine in an era of transparency, where information for consumers is a mouse click away. Approximately seven out of 10 Internet users are accessing health-related information online, including researching physicians. If you haven’t googled yourself, you’re missing out on learning what your patients and their families are finding out about you — accurate or not. Being smart about social media and other digital platforms places you in charge of your online reputation. Below are a few tips to help you.
- Google yourself using different variations of your name, e.g.: John Smith, MD, Dr. Jonathan Smith, John K. Smith, MD. Your search will likely reveal listings on third-party rating or review sites. There are roughly 50 or more of these sites, which pull information from licensing databases and other public sources, including the National Physician Index. Information may be incorrect or outdated. To correct information, you must claim the listings. Specifics for doing so differ among sites, as do methods of authentication. Before you proceed down this path, note the process can be tedious.
- Create a professional profile on Linkedin. These profiles tend to show high in search results, enhanced by frequent updates, including sharing appropriate professional content.
- Claim your Doxmity profile. The site feeds the US News “Find a Doctor” directory, and its members are invited participants in the “Best Hospitals’” reputation survey. Note the site’s membership is limited to physicians. CHOC’s marketing and communications department can send you instructions for claiming and/or updating your profile.
- Partner with CHOC’s marketing and communications department to update your physician profile on choc.org. These profiles come up high in searches for individual physicians, even more so for physicians with updated, comprehensive bios. Additionally, work with the department to create and distribute useful content: blog posts, podcasts, news articles, infographics, presentations, etc. This digital content can help push the public listings and/or other irrelevant, erroneous content further in the search rankings, possibly never to be seen by the majority of searchers.
- Encourage, when appropriate, patients and families to share positive reviews and engage with CHOC on CHOC’s social media
Patients and their families are often getting to know their physicians online before meeting them in their offices. Take control of that first digital impression.