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The Truth Eventually Comes Out
Every month, more than 100,000 patients across the United States publish feedback about their doctors online. They rate everything about their experiences — their doctors’ bedside manner, doctor/patient face time, follow-up and even the staff — on any of more than a dozen major review websites.
Compounding matters further, these review sites often don’t require a real name and make no effort to confirm whether or not the reviews are accurate, truthful or even from real customers.
Take Dr. Reagan*, for example. He’s an OB/GYN who has been practicing for 12 years, is passionate about patient care and has received many awards and accolades for his work. However, one patient was unsatisfied and took him to court. When the case was deemed frivolous and thrown out by the judge, the patient took to the Web with a vengeance and posted a nasty review a few days later. When an identical review was posted shortly thereafter on a different review site, Dr. Reagan knew that this disgruntled patient would not stop until his reputation was in tatters.
Dr. Reagan believes that, given enough time, the real story will emerge to vindicate him and others who have been wrongfully harmed. However, the problem that he and other doctors continually face is the fact that a single negative online review can cause real, immediate harm to a physician’s personal and professional reputation — which can cause real harm to the doctor’s medical practice.
His experience made Dr. Reagan realize that he needed online reputation management. He contacted Reputation.com and, under his close supervision, the company put together a plan to promote the physician’s areas of expertise within obstetrics and urogynecology on the Internet.
The Reputation.com team increased the ranking of information about accolades he’d received — such as the “Patients’ Choice Award,” which is given to physicians receiving near-perfect patient scores on Vitals.com. Reputation.com emphasized his research and clinical duties as an assistant professor at a medical college. The company also published Dr. Reagan’s pursuits beyond medicine, such as serving as a volunteer interior firefighter in his community.
Using Reputation.com’s award-winning technologies and proprietary strategies, this new information soon populated more than 80% of the first two pages of his Google search results. The misleading patient review was bumped to the bottom of his search results and made all but invisible.
With all the positive feedback he’s received from new patients, Dr. Reagan feels that his impressive online reputation has led to more word-of-mouth referrals from patients, as well as other physicians.
For more information about online reputation services, call Reputation.com at (877) 492-8224. Mention that you’re an American Medical Association member and get a reputation consultation free.
*Real name and identity protected
**Ninety-five percent of all site traffic from search engines comes from the first page of results (iCrossing, Feb. 2010). Thirty-six percent of Web searchers click on the first result — three times more than the second result and 18 times more than results on the bottom of the page. Less than 2%, on average, click on a result from the second page (Optify, 2011).
MD News January 2012